'Jigsaw' helps Hollywood with its box-office puzzle

John Kramer shows himself from his evil and still side in "Jigsaw". Photo: Facebook / Jigsaw

LOS ANGELES - Hollywood may be suffering through a spiritless patch but Halloween films can still lend a needed jolt, as Lionsgate's new "Jigsaw" horror film and a clutch of other scary films showed by boosting an otherwise flimsy weekend box office.

"Jigsaw," the eighth chapter in Lionsgate's "Saw" horror franchise, took in an estimated $16.3-million over the three-day weekend, according to industry website Exhibitor Relations. It beat out the same studio's "Boo 2! A Madea Halloween," with $10 million.

But after that, no film in the top 10 made as much as $6-million, with audiences distracted by baseball's World Series and the hugely popular Netflix series "Stranger Things." Even "Jigsaw" fell some $4-million below expectations in its opening weekend, Variety.com reported.

That movie, the first "Saw" sequel in seven years, has police investigating a string of horrific murders committed in the style of the supposedly long-dead killer Jigsaw. Made for just $10-million, the film is already in the black.

"Boo 2" strikes a somewhat lighter tone. The comedy horror sequel has Tyler Perry (who also wrote, directed and produced it) and his gang heading to a haunted campground, where -- no surprise -- monsters lurk.

"Geostorm," a new release from Warner Bros., took third place, earning $5.7-million. The sci-fi disaster thriller follows Gerard Butler as a satellite designer tasked with saving the world from an apocalyptic storm caused by climate-controlling satellites run amok.

"Happy Death Day," another comedy horror flick, took in $5.1-million. The Universal film stars Jessica Rothe as a college student who repeatedly relives the day she was murdered until she discovers who killed her.

In fifth place was sci-fi reboot "Blade Runner: 2049," taking $4-million.

The film features Ryan Gosling as a Los Angeles Police Department "blade runner" charged with killing bioengineered androids who are becoming too much like humans. He goes on a search for Harrison Ford's character -- the original blade runner -- who had disappeared years earlier.

With ticket sales in October some 5 percent below the same month last year, Hollywood is eagerly awaiting next week's domestic premiere of Marvel and Disney's "Thor: Ragnarok." It took in an impressive $108-million in its international opening.


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