Another Halloween, another Saw installment taking the top spot over the weekend, putting up a respectable $24 million, which is better than last year’s $14 million, but less than the $30+ million that Saws II through V put up on their opening weekends.
If we keep returning to the trough, they’ll keep feeding us gruel. If they give us gruel in 3D, we’ll pay more for it. We are in movies as we are in politics: We take the predictable choices, the easy ones, the ones we understand. We’ll choose between the two major parties (Saw or Paranormal Activity, which knocked back another $17 million, good for second place), rather than look to the often superior, less predictable third-party candidates (in many cities, you also had choices like Catfish, Buried, Conviction, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, or Monsters.
But why challenge ourselves when we can watch another iteration of the same goddamn movie? We reward the rich, and then claim it’s superior because it made the most money.
I saw this comment left over on Deadline today, and it sadly illustrates the thought process behind too many moviegoers:
This is the reason so many in Hollywood love this site. Saw which makes money is trashed. While Lena Dunham gets lauded for transforming a crappy festival film no one will see into an HBO show that no one will watch and a movie deal for the female Greenberg. The only people who will make any money on that deal is UTA who convinced their friends at the studios to flush stockholder’s money down the toilet. I’ve said it many times, there’s a reason 70% of Hollywood films lose money. These people hate their audiences and have nothing but contempt for stockholders.
I’m powerless to refute that argument. The reasoning behind it makes me too sad.
We’ve become a country that’s run by stockholders.
Red, Jackass 3D and Hereafter round out the top five.