Lionsgate's Saw 3D led the box office over Halloween weekend with $24.23 million. The seventh (and reportedly last) film of the horror franchise opened on the higher end of pre-release expectations. Though Saw 3D wasn't able to return the franchise to its previous heights, it was able to outpace the disappointing $14.12 million start of last year's Saw VI by an impressive 72 percent. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation Saw 3D delivered the fifth largest start of the franchise's seven films.
Saw 3D was obviously helped in a big way by its higher priced 3D admissions, as 92 percent of grosses came from the 3D format. Saw 3D was also helped by having Halloween fall on Sunday, which allowed the film to register an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.27 to 1. That was a bit stronger than the respective ratios of 2.09 and 2.03 registered by Saw V and Saw VI (both of which opened the weekend before Halloween). In return Saw 3D could fall off even faster than recent Saw films have, but that isn't set in stone either as continued 3D grosses could still soften upcoming declines a bit.
Paramount's Paranormal Activity 2 finished in second with $16.51 million. Even with help from Halloween, the low-budget horror sequel was down a massive 59 percent from last weekend's better than expected debut. Paranormal Activity 2 clearly took a hit from Saw 3D this weekend, though in the big scheme of things it is still having the far more impressive performance of the two especially when factoring in its lower production cost and lack of 3D aided grosses. Paranormal Activity 2 has grossed an impressive $65.67 million in ten days of release but should continue to fall off very quickly going forward with Halloween now behind us. With post-Halloween holds likely to be poorer than those of last year's Paranormal Activity, Paranormal Activity 2 looks to be headed for a final domestic gross in the neighborhood of $85 million.
Red continued to hold up nicely with a third place take of $10.73 million. The action-comedy from Summit starring Bruce Willis was down a slim 29 percent from last weekend. That is a very strong hold for a non-horror film over Halloween weekend, as strong word of mouth and lack of new competition continue to help the film in a big way. Red has grossed a better than expected $58.82 million in 17 days of release. The film is now the second highest grossing Non-Twilight release in Summit's history (trailing only last year's Knowing).
Not holding up anywhere near as well was Paramount's Jackass 3D. Paramount's 3D sequel finished in fourth with $8.50 million. New competition from Saw 3D, the Halloween holiday and the front-loaded nature of the franchise all took a toll Jackass 3D this weekend. Despite the poor holding power, Jackass 3D has been the highest grossing release of September and October of this year and crossed the $100 million mark this weekend (making it the only September/October 2010 release to do so thus far). Jackass 3D represents the 19th release of 2010 to reach the $100 million domestic milestone.
This weekend's most disappointing performance was that of Warner's Hereafter. After a so-so start last weekend, the Clint Eastwood directed film starring Matt Damon was down 47 percent from last weekend. The decline was especially discouraging when considering that the film is skewing heavily towards older audiences and that it expanded into an additional 243 locations this weekend. Hereafter has grossed a lackluster $22.26 million after ten days of wide release and should continue to fall off quickly going forward. The film is running 8 percent ahead of 2008's Changeling and is currently on pace to finish its domestic run in the area of $35 million.
On the international front, Universal's Despicable Me remained strong with $22.8 million from 47 foreign markets. Key performances this weekend included a $2.7 million debut in Japan and grosses of $6.9 million in France and $4.5 million in the United Kingdom. The international total for Despicable Me now stands at $235.4 million. With a domestic total gross of $247.9 million, the film's worldwide haul currently stands at $483.3 million.
Current international totals for some of this fall's releases include $70.0 million for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, $66.1 million for Legend of the Guardians and $42.6 million for The Town.