Saw franchise billion

The Saw franchise was already one of the most successful horror series in cinematic history, but thanks to a push from its newest entry, the franchise has now officially crossed the billion dollar threshold at the worldwide box office. You know what that means: confetti has exploded from the ceiling and Jigsaw has just been presented with an oversized jacket with dollar signs stitched into it. Congrats, buddy!

The Chris Rock-led Spiral: From the Book of Saw made about $4.5 million at the North American box office and $2.67 million internationally this past weekend, which takes the film’s global haul to just over $22.5 million. That was enough to edge the franchise’s worldwide total past the billion dollar mark; Lionsgate estimates that the franchise’s total now stands at $1,000,799,533.

“We congratulate our friends at Twisted Pictures and all of the filmmakers and stars who have been a part of the Saw legacy,” said David Spitz, Lionsgate’s President of domestic theatrical distribution. “Over the years, our partners have been innovative, creative, and open to new ideas as they have nurtured a microbudget film into a billion-dollar-plus-grossing cultural phenomenon.”

James Wan’s initial 2004 movie was indeed a small indie horror film that somehow spawned a juggernaut franchise which went on a financial tear throughout the mid-2000s. What started as a tiny, grimy psychological horror film ended up ballooning into a film series that took admirable risks in terms of converging narratives and playing with the overall timeline. While those types of reveals were initially thrilling (the ending of Saw IV stands out as my favorite moment of the entire franchise), the movies themselves began to drop in quality over the years, getting more and more complex in terms of keeping John Kramer, AKA the Jigsaw killer, involved in the action and increasing the ridiculousness of the violent traps the characters would often find themselves in.

Darren Lynn Bousman, who directed Saw II, Saw III, and Saw IV, returned to the franchise after many years away to tackle Spiral: From the Book of Saw, which was pitched to the studio by star Chris Rock and takes a different approach than fans were used to seeing. It’s unclear if he’ll be back in the director’s chair for the inevitable Saw 10 (which is currently in development), but one thing’s for sure: this franchise is not done making money quite yet. After all, the Book of Saw has just been opened.

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