[Featured image and JIGSAW logo courtesy Official Saw Facebook page]
Fall is fast approaching – time to watch leaves change color, rake said leaves, then head over to the mulitplex to celebrate The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Halloween! Let’s start off the Horror4Me News Roundup with some haunted house related news from Universal and Lionsgate.
SAW Returns to Theaters & Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights”
One of my horror fan bucket list items is a fall vacation to Universal Studios (Hollywood or Orlando, I’m not picky) to experience their “Halloween Horror Nights.” For scary movie fans, nothing says vacacation like the chance to “become victims inside their own horror film,” experiencing haunted houses based on the icons of horror, then strolling back to the safety of their hotel room.
After an eight year absence, Universal and Lionsgate are bringing back the most sadistic games of the diabolical puzzle-master himself. Starting September 15, “SAW: The Games of Jigsaw” haunted house will lead fans “through claustrophobic, visceral experiences,” turning them into participants in “the most terrifying “games” ever devised on screen.”
The experience includes a trap from the eighth movie in the franchise. Jigsaw premieres October 27 in the series’ traditional weekend before Halloween slot. According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, the previous seven Saw movies have a world wide gross of $873 million.
The new film’s advertising places Jigsaw as a continuation of the saga, with the tagline “Everyone has a part to play” and a website stating that Jigsawsaves.com – implying a demented cult around the twisted legacy of the characters brought to life by Tobin Bell. If this sounds like the perfect fall getaway, check out Halloween Horror Nights for more gruesome details.
ANNABELLE: CREATION Opens Big; Boosts CONJURING-Verse Over $1B Worldwide BO
Turns out the answer to our June 27th article, “Will ANNABELLE: CREATION Crown the New Evil Doll Champion?” is a resounding HECK YES. As reported in Variety, the latest movie in the Conjuring-verse debuted with a healthy $36 million dollar opening weekend (off an estimated budget of $15 million). The worldwide gross is now over $100 million.
While the Saw series hasn’t done too badly for Lionsgate in seven movies ($873 million worldwide gross), the Warner Bros/New Line Conjuring Universe just topped $100 million dollar gross worldwide after only four movies. Until Warner Bros. figures out what they’re doing with the DC Cinematic Universe, at least they have horror to (once again) help the bottom line.
Maybe the next “Freddie vs. Jason” horror match-up will be a battle of the evil doll-puppets – Jigsaw vs. Annabelle.
Blumhouse Boasts 2017’s Most Profitable Movies With GET OUT and SPLIT
2017 might be the year when a horror movie is not only the most profitable film of the year, but gets recognition during awards season. The good folks at TheWrap.com crunched the numbers on 2017’s 25 highest grossing movies, calculating each movie’s production budget and marketing costs against box office.
And (surprise surprise), the Return On Investment winner for the year so far is Get Out, with an astounding 630% ROI. Fellow Blumhouse project (and critical darling) Split is second with 610%. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut showcases the Blumhouse formula of “taking creative risks within tight budgets” to perfection. Jason Blum isn’t doing something unique in the horror genre, but he is taking it to a new level of creative and critical respect. Let’s see how things pan out when Golden Globe and Oscar nominations are announced.
THE MUMMY, BYE BYE MAN and RINGS Race to the Bottom of the Rotten Tomatoes Ratings
For the last item on the Horror4me News Roundup, we must break out the sad trombone music from The Price is Right.
NME (or New Musical Express for old timers) recently compiled a list of “The Most Critically Reviled Movies of 2017” and of the eleven movies listed, four are horror movies. At least The Bye Bye Man (24 percent), Underworld: Blood Wars, The Mummy (16 percent), and Rings (6 percent) all have better Rotten Tomatoes ratings than The Emoji Movie (Zero percent).