Jigsaw – the latest entry in the popular Saw horror franchise – is projected to top the box office ahead of the Halloween holiday. From 2004 to 2010, Saw regularly ruled the late October box office, even sporting the slogan “If it’s Halloween, it must be Saw” for a time. While it’s no surprise that a horror film would perform well during the Halloween season, the Saw series proved so dominant that for most of its run, studios didn’t even bother trying to provide it other horror films to compete with.
At this point though, the days of Saw’s box office dominance seem far behind, with Jigsaw not playing any new theatrical games in the past seven years. However, as any horror fan knows, the genre’s best monsters and villains are almost never gone for good, and Jigsaw won’t be any different. Of course, it remains to be seen how the title character will actually figure into the plot this time, as John “Jigsaw” Kramer has been dead since Saw III. That said, his death didn’t stop him from somehow orchestrating the events of Saws IV-VII.
After such a long layoff though, some have wondered whether Saw would still be capable of drawing a crowd. According to Variety’s latest box office projections, the answer is a resounding yes. Jigsaw is poised for a domestic opening weekend somewhere between $18 and $22 million, likely ending up right around $20 million. That’ll be more than enough to knock off Boo 2!: A Madea Halloween from the #1 spot.
With an estimated production budget of $10 million, an opening weekend around $20 million would at the very least enable the film to break even financially, if not quite push it into profitability. That said, after international grosses and subsequent weeks are added to the total, there’s almost no conceivable way that Jigsaw doesn’t end up hauling in big profits for studio Lionsgate. For reference, 2010’s Saw 3D: The Final Chapter hauled in nearly $140 million worldwide, after a domestic opening of $22.5 million.
It’s worth noting that Jigsaw actually sports half the budget of Saw 3D, which cost $20 million to make. Thus, if Jigsaw performs similarly to its predecessor, it’ll end up being significantly more profitable. With that in mind, one wonders if another Saw installment will be in the cards for next October.
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