After seven steady years of jaw-crunching, bear-trap-infused sequels, the "Saw" franchise has finally — well, allegedly — come to a close with the release of the final chapter, titled "
Jigsaw's last stand drew the attention of horror lovers nationwide for a first-place finish, but the seventh "Saw" failed to capture the success of its predecessors.
"Saw 3D" managed only $22.5 million this weekend, with an additional $1.7 million earned at midnight showings last Thursday, despite the allure of 3-D technology and the promise of resolving the legacy of the murderous Jigsaw. The film's performance was enough to guarantee its status as the weekend's winner, but it currently stands as the series' third-lowest opening weekend just ahead of the first "Saw" and last year's "Saw VI," which took a major hit last October when released opposite the increasingly buzzworthy "Paranormal Activity." "Saw VI" earned only $14.1 million in its first weekend, and while "Saw 3D" certainly improved on those numbers, the increased price of 3-D ticket sales contributed to the movie's higher opening; considering those 3-D-inflated numbers, it's hard to call "Saw 3D" a major improvement on "Saw VI."
Some of the blame can be laid upon "Paranormal Activity 2," as the sequel likely drew away some of the potential audience for "Saw" for a second-place finish worth $16.5 million. The found-footage thriller took a steep 59.4 percent drop from its performance last weekend, but with $65.7 million earned thus far on a $3 million budget, the "Paranormal Activity" sequel is clearly a massive success regardless.
The Bruce Willis-led "Red" continues to hold strong, finishing the weekend in third place with $10.8 million after three weekends in theaters. "Jackass 3D" suffered a staggering 60.5 percent drop from last weekend's showing, landing in fourth place with $8.4 million.
Rounding out the top five was director Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon's "Hereafter," managing a mere $6.3 million after two weeks at the box office.
The Box-Office Top Five
#1 "Saw 3D" ($22.5 million)
#2 "Paranormal Activity 2" ($16.5 million)
#3 "Red" ($10.8 million)
#4 "Jackass 3D" ($8.4 million)
#5 "Hereafter" ($6.3 million)
Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis race to meet their "Due Date" next weekend, while Tyler Perry returns to theaters with "For Colored Girls." Will Ferrell's computer-animated superhero comedy "Megamind" rounds out the week's new releases.
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