After three relatively dull weeks at the movies, a diversified slate of new titles has arrived on our screens and impressively reached the top three. The first on the list is PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, our new number one film of the weekend with a $23 million tally, doubling the first film’s $13 million opening. I believe it’s safe to say that a third movie will come out much sooner than later and will probably make way more money than this one did.
To capitalize on Barbenheimer, Paramount, and Lionsgate tried to make Saw Patrol a thing — but it never was going to be one. First, you’ve got two opposites: one is a film destined for [very] small children and the other is a gnarly and extremely violent horror movie destined for adults able to stomach extreme amounts of gore thrown at them. Sure, it’s extreme counterprogramming, but they miss the point of what made Barbenheimer such a phenomenon: the films were the singular visions of their respective auteurs, not IP-driven franchise filmmaking like Saw X and PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie (Barbie was based on an IP, but is still very much Greta Gerwig’s film).
Still, Saw X revived the franchise in more ways than one, finishing the weekend with a better tally than Spiral: From the Book of Saw with $18 million over a $13 million budget. However, the most impressive aspect of this movie is its Rotten Tomatoes rating, the first in a franchise of TEN FILMS with a coveted Certified Fresh rating. When some journalists talked about the film as “one of the best of the franchise” during its test screening process, the bar wasn’t set high, as none of the installments are critically acclaimed. Sure, they have their fans (I will forever defend Saw 3D: The Final Chapter), but they declined in quality as each subsequent film was released. However, Saw X not only revived the franchise for more movies but became the first installment of the series to receive widespread critical acclaim. This could help it gain momentum in the weeks to come. Another win for horror cinema at the movies.
As for The Creator, it hasn’t fared well as one would’ve hoped it did. Still, it managed to grab $14 million over an $80 million budget, so the studio won’t completely lose money. Despite mixed reviews, the fact that Gareth Edwards kept the budget small and could still deliver high-scale entertainment is likely the most impressive aspect of the whole production. As The Exorcist: Believer and Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour release in the coming weeks, The Creator may not pick as much momentum as the above-mentioned films, which will likely benefit from strong word of mouth.
Here is the full list of the top ten films of the weekend:
- PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie (Paramount): $23M – 3,989 theatres
- Saw X (Lionsgate): $18M – 3,262 theatres
- The Creator (Disney): $14M – 3,680 theatres
- The Nun II (Warner Bros.): $4.6M (-45.3%) – 2,871 theatres
- The Blind (Tread Lively): $4.1M – 1,715 theatres
- A Haunting in Venice (Disney): $3.8M (-39.7%) – 2,785 theatres
- Dumb Money (Sony): $3.5M (+44.3%) – 2,837 theatres
- The Equalizer 3 (Sony): $2.7M (-43.2%) – 2,184 theatres
- Expend4bles (Lionsgate): $2.4M (-69%) – 3,518 theatres
- Barbie (Warner Bros.): $1.4M (-55.3%) – 1,302 theatres
Source: Box Office Mojo