Taking the quality issues for the Saw franchise out of the equation, the public may have finally had enough of Jigsaw and his games. Saw VI is on track to be the lowest grossing film of the franchise, with only $22.5 million total in its second week of release. With a meager $6 million made Halloween weekend to add to the film’s overall gross, it is unlikely the numbers will increase substantially post-horror movie season. Saw VI is on track to end up with between $30 and $40 million total at the box office. This is not good news for a franchise expecting at least two more installments, with next year’s “Saw VII” already greenlit by the studio. Lionsgate’s cash cow may be ready to go out to pasture.
While the franchise isn’t expected to get back to the unbelievable profits of the first three (the first trilogy made $55m, $87m, and $80m with budgets of $1.2m, $4m, and $10m, respectively) it should have been more than capable of breaking the $50 million mark at the b.o. Assuming a budget of $10 million (which the last three have had) and millions in advertising costs, the studio may only make $20 million or so on this latest outing, before DVD and foreign sales.
While Lionsgate will make a middling profit on Saw VI, do the numbers really justify making two more pictures? When will the lack of interest finally spell doom for the series? A tighter back story could have seen the franchise resolved in six films (or less), with fans leaving the franchise satisfied instead of drained. Sadly, the studio is on course to milk the very last drop from this series until no one is left to care what Jigsaw’s ultimate plan was.