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Weekend Marquee: Horror films are killing it at the box office

October 25, 2017 GMT

“Jigsaw” is probably going to cut its way to No. 1 movie at the box office by Sunday and not just because it’s a scary movie opening just days before Halloween.

And it isn’t because “Jigsaw” — film No. 8 in the “Saw” franchise — is the first film in that torture-gore series in seven years.

It’s because horror movies now attract audiences any time of the year.

If “Jigsaw” lands at No. 1 this weekend, it will be the eighth horror flick to top the weekend box office in the first 10 months of 2017.

With moviegoing audiences spending more time on smartphones and saving up their bucks until the next superhero movie, horror is the one genre of movie that is consistently pulling in young viewers.

Horror movies are proving that they have the power to make everyone, from pre-teens to 20-somethings, put down their phones for a couple of hours while they couple up or go with a pack of friends to enjoy the communal movie experience of being scared together.

Consider:

“Split”: The M. Night Shyamalan multiple-personality creepfest opened at No. 1 at the box office the third weekend of January with $40 million.

“Get Out”: This frightening and perceptive take on race and a disturbing family was No. 1 the last weekend of February with $33.4 million.

“Alien: Covenant”: The latest in this series was No. 1 the third weekend in May with $36.2 million.

“Annabelle: Creation”: The creepy doll from the “Conjuring” series took No. 1 the second weekend of August with $35 million.

“It”: The highest-grossing horror film was No. 1 the second weekend of September — and the third weekend, too.

“Happy Death Day”: This “Groundhog Day”-style scary story was No. 1 two weeks ago with $26 million.

“Boo 2! A Madea Halloween”: Tyler Perry took No. 1 this past weekend with $21 million.

Is “Jigsaw” likely to scare up enough business to be No. 1 this weekend? Stay tuned.

NEW MOVIES THIS WEEK

“Suburbicon,” Matt Damon, R

“Jigsaw,” a “Saw” movie sequel, R

“Thank You For Your Service,” Miles Teller, R

NEW AT CIRCLE CINEMA

“Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House,” Liam Neeson, PG-13

“Jane,” Jane Goodall documentary, NR

“The Unknown Girl,” French mystery, NR

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