‘Saw IV’ Inflicts Box-Office Torture On ‘Dan In Real Life’

Fourth installment claims second-highest Halloween opening, right after 'Saw III.'

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 “Saw IV” ($32.1 million)
#2 “Dan in Real Life” ($12 million)
#3 “30 Days of Night” ($6.7 million)
#4 “The Game Plan” ($6.3 million)
#5 “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?” ($5.7 million)

While there will always be some debate as to who the scariest modern movie monster is, the most successful is no longer in question. Freddy? Jason? Leatherface? Michael Myers? Take a seat, boys — Jigsaw’s back in town.

For the third time in as many years, a “Saw” movie wound up on top of the weekend box office, as the fourth installment tortured the competition to the tune of $32.1 million — the second-highest first-week gross for a movie opening Halloween week. In fact, the only movie ever to open bigger during the same time frame was last year’s “Saw III” (slightly better at $33.6 million).

But for all the new tricks he designs to torture his victims, Jigsaw still relies on old treats to bring in audiences. According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, exit polling revealed that 90 percent of viewers had seen the previous three films. Now that’s brand loyalty to kill for!

While Jigsaw was torturing others, Steve Carell played a character torturing himself — a widowed father who falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend in “Dan in Real Life,” a drama/comedy from director Peter Hedges. Carell recently told MTV News all about his many talents , but for us, his real gift is making us forget this movie also stars Dane Cook. “Dan in Real Life” was good for $12 million and a second-place finish.

In its second week, “30 Days of Night” fell nearly 60 percent to come in third place with $6.7 million. “The Game Plan” ($6.3 million) and “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?” ($5.7 million) rounded out the top five.

One of the bigger stories of the week, however, may very well wind up being the large haul for Sidney Lumet’s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” a neo-noir caper starring Ethan Hawke and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Give the devil his due: The film made $73,000 in only two theaters. Many, including our own Kurt Loder , are pegging it as an Oscar favorite.

Next Week

What’s the deal with “Bee Movie”? And why do they call them bees anyway? This and other terrible Seinfeld impersonations when “Bee Movie” hits theaters next week. The animated Dreamworks film also stars the voices of Chris Rock and Renée Zellweger. Also opening is “American Gangster,” a ’70s throwback with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Saw IV,” “Dan in Real Life” and “30 Days of Night.”

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