- Spiral: From the Book of Saw underperformed at the box office, earning only $40.6 million worldwide, compared to Saw X‘s $55.9 million in just over a week.
- The focus on Chris Rock’s character in Spiral may have been a mistake, as fans don’t pay to see him in a Saw film, especially when Tobin Bell is missing.
- Saw X‘s success can be attributed to the return of Tobin Bell as John Kramer, which has garnered the film a series-best Tomatometer rating of 82% and an audience score of 90%.
Is it really a surprise that a Saw film with Tobin Bell performs better than one that features Chris Rock? 2021’s Spiral: From the Book of Saw is the lowest-grossing entry in the trap-centric franchise, and it didn’t do itself any favors by focusing on Rock’s character than that of the Jigsaw killer, aka John Kramer. And it only took Saw X 10 short days to make more money in theaters than Spiral did during its entire theatrical run.
Spiral finished its disappointing stint in cinemas with a paltry $40.6 million worldwide, while Saw X has already made $55.9 million globally in just over a week’s time. Bell’s return as John Kramer is accentuated thanks to a killer character study that has garnered the 10th film of the franchise a series-best Tomatometer rating of 82%… and an audience score of 90%.
Saw X’s $18.3 million opening-weekend number was nearly $10 million more than Spiral ($8.8 million) could manage during its three-day debut in 2021. Granted, Spiral can argue that it opened amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but fans don’t pay to see Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson show up in a Saw film — especially when the franchise’s golden goose, Tobin Bell, is missing in action.
Saw X Buzzes Right Through Spiral at the Box Office
Why do movie executives and producers deviate from the proven formulas that make certain scary films work? Somewhere out there, during a Hollywood meeting, someone actually greenlit a Saw film starring Chris Rock rather than Tobin Bell. And it’s arguably one of the greatest gaffe’s in all of horror film history. It’s right up there with making a Halloween movie without Michael Myers (Halloween III: Season of the Witch), remaking Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho (1960) frame for frame in 1998, or thinking a Friday the 13th film with someone else wearing Jason Voorhees’ hockey mask (Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning) could possibly work. And now Saw X has made more money in 10 days than Spiral did in all of 2021.
Spiral also holds the dubious honor, along with Saw VI, of being the only two films in the horror franchise not to make at least $100 million at the worldwide box office. Saw X is trying to avoid becoming the third film in the series to achieve that cringeworthy feat. Fortunately, the Tobin Bell-led sequel is already over halfway to the $100-million mark after just 10 days of theatrical release.
The horror film not only brings back Bell as John Kramer, aka Jigsaw, but Shawnee Smith also returns as fan-favorite Amanda. And it’s not lost on either of these Saw legacy actors what makes these particular horror films so appealing to the fandom. Smith said in an interview with iHollywoodTV:
What’s super exciting about this for the true fans, is that you have John and Amanda. The idea of the male and female of Jigsaw is super interesting.
Bell added in the same sit-down:
When I first read the script, I was very impressed with it. And it was in very good shape — tight. And the casting has been wonderful. So, we have a good film here.
Friday the 13th is typically an excellent day for horror fans to converge on theaters and enjoy genre selections. This upcoming weekend is going to be an anomaly, though. Even though several other high-profile scary flicks remain in cinemas (The Nun II, A Haunting in Venice, The Exorcist: Believer), Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour will undoubtedly slow Saw X’s bloody roll to $100 million. But it’s no surprise that the latest Saw installment has already laid waste to the vastly inferior Spiral at the box office.