Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Oct. 30: 'Saw III' Cuts Wide Swath

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Oct 30, 2006 | 5:32am EST

Looking for a few Halloween scares, moviegoers flocked to Saw III this weekend, making it the No. 1 movie at the North American box office with $34.3 million, the biggest payday yet for the horror franchise.

The series, featuring psycho killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), has become an annual ritual each Halloween since the first low-budget Saw debuted with $18.3 million over the same weekend two years ago. Saw II opened last year with $31.7 million.

"It's the biggest no-brainer of the century to put these movies out on Halloween weekend and wait for the money to roll in," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the politically charged Catch a Fire starring Derek Luke and Tim Robbins, failed to make the top 10, opening with only $2 million.

The Top 12 movies grossed $89 million this weekend, up 2.40 percent from last year’s draw of $86.9 and up 0.26 percent from last weekend’s total of $88.8 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Lionsgate’s Saw II, which opened at No. 1 with $31.7 million in 2,949 theaters, averaging $10,758 per theater; Sony’s The Legend of Zorro, which opened in second place with $16.3 million in 3,520 theaters, averaging $4,639 per theaters; and Universal’s Prime, which debuted in third place with $6.2 million in 1,827 theaters, averaging $3,405 per theaters (Click here to read last year's box office report).

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Saw III (LionsGate, R)

• Gross: $34.3 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 3,167

• Per-theater average: $10,830

No. 2: The Departed (Warner Bros., R)

• Gross: $9.8 million (-27%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 2,951 (-54)

• Per-theater average: $3,334

• Cume to date: $91 million

No. 3: The Prestige (Buena Vista, PG-13)

• Gross: $9.6 million (-35%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 2,281 (unchanged)

• Per-theater average: $4,220

• Cume to date: $28.8 million

No. 4: Flags of Our Fathers (Paramount, R)

• Gross: $6.3 million (-38%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 2,190

• Per-theater average: $2,900

• Cume to date: $19.9 million

No. 5: Open Season (Sony Pictures, PG)

• Gross: $6.1 million (-25%)

• Weeks opened: 5

• Theaters: 3,059 (-320)

• Per-theater average: $1,994

• Cume to date: $77.3 million

No. 6: Flicka (20th Cent. Fox, PG)

• Gross: $4.9 million (-35%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 2,877 (unchanged)

• Per-theater average: $1,729

• Cume to date: $14.1 million

No. 7: Man of the Year (Universal, PG-3)

• Gross: $4.7 million (-32%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 2,623 (+101)

• Per-theater average: $1,797

• Cume to date: $28.9 million

No. 8: The Grudge 2 (Sony, PG-13)

• Gross: $3.3 million (-57%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 3,063 (-151)

• Per-theater average: $1,077

• Cume to date: $36 million

No. 9: Marie Antoinette (Sony, PG-13)

• Gross: $2.8 million (-47%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 859 (unchanged)

• Per-theater average: $3,318

• Cume to date: $9.7 million

No. 10: Running with Scissors (Sony, R)

• Gross: $2.5 million (+1028%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 586 (+578)

• Per-theater average: $4,352

• Cume to date: $2.8 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Babel (Paramount Classics, R)

• Gross: $365,801

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 7

• Per-theater average: $52,257

Conversations with God (Samuel Goldwyn, NR)

• Gross: $149.120

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 64

• Per-theater average: $2,330

Shut Up and Sing (Weinstein Co., NR)

• Gross: $50,978

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 4

• Per-theater average: $12,745

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