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Jigsaw hits US top spot as George Clooney's Suburbicon bombs


Story by Jack Foley

THE return of the Saw franchise with Jigsaw proved to be a hit with cinema-goers looking for some pre-Halloween chills, taking $16.3 million.

But while that figure was enough to enable the film to beat newcomers including George Clooney’s Suburbicon and war drama Thank You For Your Service, it marked something of a disappointing overall figure for a film that had been looking for a start somewhere in excess of $20 million.

It also confirmed that the US box office was in a late October slump.

Directed by Michael and Peter Spierig, Jigsaw takes place a decade after the death of the eponymous murderer as police are puzzled by a rash of murders matching Jigsaw’s signature moves.

It received a mixed response from critics, who felt it marked an improvement on the likes of Saw: The Final Chapter without necessarily making the idea to revive it worthwhile.

Nevertheless, it did much better business than another high profile opener, taking five times the amount of George Clooney’s latest Suburbicon.

Clooney’s movie, placing ninth, is based on a script by Clooney, Grant Heslov and the Coen brothers, and tells the story of a seemingly perfect white family whose suburban home is invaded in the summer of 1959.

It stars Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac. But its opening figure of $2.8 million marks the worst nationwide launch of Clooney’s directing career and the worst showing of Damon’s career behind All The Pretty Horses, which debuted to $1.3 million in 2000.

Perhaps worse for Clooney, Suburbicon even lagged behind Thank You for Your Service, a veteran drama from Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks and partner Universal. The movie opened to $3.7 million, placing sixth.

The film, starring Miles Teller and directed by American Sniper scribe Jason Hall, is based on the 2013 book of the same name about combat PTSD by best-selling author and journalist David Finkel.

The US top five was therefore comprised of Jigsaw in first place, Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, which grossed roughly $10 million in its sophomore outing, Geostorm, which placed third with $5.7 million, horror pic Happy Death Day, which grossed $4.1 million in its fourth weekend, and Blade Runner 2049, which rounded out the top five in its fourth outing with $4 million for a US total of $81.4 million.

Like Geostorm, Blade Runner is now facing significant losses.

The box office in America will be hoping for far more robust returns next weekend, when Marvel title Thor: Ragnarok opens, especially since it enjoyed a whopping $107.6 million in its international debut this weekend.