A couple of can't-miss franchises propelled the box office to its biggest October numbers in history this weekend, thanks to their built-in–and completely opposite–audience appeal. Disney's sanitized sing-and-dance-a-thon High School Musical 3: Senior Year unsurprisingly reeled in hordes of loyal kids, teens, and parents, confirming that the mind-bogglingly successful made-for-cable movie franchise could easily make the big-screen jump: It topped the weekend box-office with a phenomenal $42 million, the third-highest October debut ever, and the highest debut for a musical.
On the other end of the moviegoing spectrum, the fifth installment of the predictably popular Saw franchise brought in the horror-mongers and those looking for cheap pre-Halloween thrills. Though Saw V was the first entry since the series' premiere installment to not debut at No. 1, its second-place earnings of $30.5 million are nothing to sneeze at, and all but guarantee that the R-rated torture-fests will continue to be a yearly tradition.
Last week's top two earners slipped to the Nos. 3 and 4 spots, respectively. Last week's winner, Max Payne, posted a 57 percent decline, but its $7.6 million in receipts was enough to earn it the bronze, while Beverly Hills Chihuahua picked up $6.92 million of the HSM3 runoff. A much-delayed police actioner starring Colin Farrell and Edward Norton, Pride And Glory made a modest debut at No. 5 with $6.33 million. The Secret Life Of Bees ($5.94 million) and W. ($5.33 million) each dropped three spots to Nos. 6 and 7, respectively, in their second week. Eagle Eye once again proved to be enduring, coming in at No. 8 in its fifth week, boasting the longest run in the top 10 and the smallest decline from last week, percentage-wise. Body Of Lies dropped to No. 9 with $4.1 million, while horror flick Quarantine suffered in the wake of Saw V, posting a 58.1 percent drop–the biggest in the top 10–that just barely kept it in the top 10 with $2.55 million.
More detailed numbers can be found at boxoficemojo.com.