3D pushes final ‘Saw’ to top weekend spot

What movie took the top spot this weekend? You guessed it – the only new one that was in 3D. The penultimate conclusion to the gory horror franchise ended on a high note.

The director of Saw 3D has been vocal about how difficult it was to shoot in state-of-the-art 3D, but a strong promotional campaign advertising it as a way for theater viewers to be part of the sadistic death games has helped rake in the audience.

The early estimates pin Saw 3D as raking in $28 million in ticket sales for the big Halloween weekend. Of course, any 3D movie will have a leg up because 3D tickets cost more than regular movie tickets. But even Paranormal Activity 2, which is available in premium-priced IMAX theaters, took a backseat. Its projected weekend earnings are far behind, at $19 million.

Meanwhile, Red, Jackass 3D, and Hereafter, all of which have been out for multiple weeks already, should round out the top 5 respectively. Ticket sales for each of them should be less than $10 million.

Saw 3D will be the final installment in the Saw series, according to the film’s producers. Trailers for the movie are actually less about the content of the flick and more about the presentation of 3D effects, spending most of the time not with footage from the movie itself but from actors in a movie theater reacting to the 3D effects.

Early reviews say the 3D is stellar in the film, and is perhaps the best use of theatrical 3D technology for an R-rated horror movie to date. As such, it has been molded as something of an event, not just a movie, to see it in a 3D theater. That message, along with the good timing of it being debuted over Halloween weekend, is what managed to catapult it to the top of the list.