As you try to remove the stubborn vomit stains from the front of your "slutty librarian" costume that you don't even remember causing, take some time to review the Halloween weekend box office numbers:
1. Saw III—$34.3 million
Using the paradigm-redefining, so-far-out-of-the-box-that-the-box-seems-to-have-never-existed strategy of releasing a horror movie at a time when males under 25 years old are most likely to soak themselves in fake blood and seek out similarly gore-drenched entertainments, Lionsgate and the Saw team have dominated a second consecutive Halloween weekend. The studio is optimistic that they can maintain their streak through the October 26, 2012 opening of the ninth installment of the franchise, a project temporarily (and, in our opinion, rather cynically) identified in their development department as Saw IX: These Idiots May Never Stop Giving Us Their Money.
2. The Departed—$9.84 million
With over $91 million in tickets sold in just four weeks of release, The Departed is almost guaranteed to pass The Aviator as the highest grossing film of Martin Scorsese's career, a clear message from the public that they'd rather watch him direct Leonardo DiCaprio as a conflicted undercover cop than as a womanzing billionaire who urinates into milk bottles.
3. The Prestige—$9.626 million
Notoriously dedicated actor Christian Bale is having some trouble leaving behind his ultra-competitive character from The Prestige; he's quietly pledged to confidants that he will put his acting career on hold, spending the next five years of his life concocting elaborate disguises which will enable him to fool Hugh Jackman's security personnel long enough to disrupt every performance in his hated rival's musical theater career.
4. Flags of Our Fathers—$6.35 million
It's been noted that Clint Eastwood's last two movies, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby, opened weakly but had enough staying power to hang around until awards season success helped push the films into profitability; this glimmer of hope is what will keep Paramount executives from drinking themselves to death upon seeing Flags of Our Fathers' box office numbers each weekend between now and when this year's Oscar nominations are announced.
12. Catch a Fire—$2.012 million
We often don't give moviegoers enough credit for being informed consumers; clearly, they saw through last week's misguided wildfire tie-in campaign and avoided Catch a Fire because of its deceptive contextual advertising practices.