For seven years in gruesome clockwork fashion every October, the Saw franchise unleashed a new entry that began in 2004 and ended in 2010. After seven years of dormancy, it’s back next weekend with Jigsaw. The Lionsgate release comes from directors Michael and Peter Spierig with Tobin Bell returning as the title character and a cast of relative unknowns.
In 2004, the first Saw pic impressed critics and audiences alike and quickly turned into a sleeper hit. Sequels II-V all subsequently posted low 30s openings before installment VI stopped the gravy train with a $14.1 million debut and $27 million overall gross (all series lows). The seventh pic, Saw 3D in 2010, bounced back a bit with a $22 million debut and $45 million total.
After such a lengthy break, will sequelitis sink in? The answer is probably yes. We have seen these significant layoffs in the genre hurt titles such as Scream 4 and Blair Witch. Additionally, the teens that frequent these pics may not have as much familiarity with the franchise due to the hiatus.
I’ll predict Jigsaw barely manages to avoid a series low premiere with a debut in the $14-$16 million range.
Jigsaw opening weekend prediction: $14.8 million
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