Ease your disappointment from walking into a Halloween party this weekend to discover that no fewer than five other people had been stricken by the same "California wildfire" brainstorm that led you to char your favorite souvenir Malibu t-shirt by reviewing the weekend's box office numbers:
1. Saw IV - $32.11 million
For a third consecutive Halloween weekend, Lions Gate's strategy of supplying teenage ticket-buyers with a fresh installment of the Saw franchise at the precise moment when their hunger to be delivered an unimaginative, gore-drenched horror sequel is at its natural peak has paid off, bringing the studio yet another easy, late-October box office win.
While LG's inevitable success with this fourth chapter already has them promising that Saw V will hit theaters a year from now, we fear they're thinking way too small. They should be testing their devoted audience's seemingly insatiable appetite for their product by announcing that they'll simultaneously release three new sequels next Halloween, unveiling an early mock-up of the one-sheet depicting villain Jigsaw trying to force-feed a trio of his blood-splattered, edged torture implements into the gaping maw of a victim chained to a theater seat.
2. Dan in Real Life - $12.081 million
Not even Hollywood's Second Most Likable Star (first place, of course, belongs to disarmingly cherubic killer spy Matt Damon) stood a chance against Saw, although Disney did do decent business giving parents a place to kill a couple of hours while their kids were busy being further desensitized to graphic violence on the other side of the multiplex.
3. 30 Days of Night - $6.7 million
Credit Sony for being smart enough to get their vampire movie into theaters a week before Lions Gate's buzzsaw tore through theaters, allowing Josh Hartnett his fleeting moment at the top of the box office.
4. The Game Plan - $6.257 million
5. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? - $5.74 million
After seeing the ads for Will Smith's I Am Legend that seemed to appear during every commercial break this weekend, the management team for Hollywood's stealth superstar is actively developing Tyler Perry's Why Am I The Last Man on Earth?, a lighthearted, family-friendly look at how humanity's sole survivor comes to grips with discovering that his millions of his once incredibly loyal, church-going fans have been turned into homicidal zombies by a mysterious virus.