LOS ANGELES - George Clooney served up a comedic drama that gave Paramount Pictures the worst wide-release opening total in its history.
Steven Spielberg's production company delivered a military drama that went widely ignored. Put simply: Hollywood had another horrific weekend at the box office.
The No. 1 movie was Jigsaw, the eighth instalment in the Saw horror series. It took in about US$16.3 million, according to comScore.
The movie equalled Saw VI for the lowest opening in the franchise, after adjusting for inflation. Analysts had anticipated ticket sales of roughly US$20 million for Jigsaw, which received poor reviews.
Lionsgate, which spent a modest US$10 million to make Jigsaw, also had the No. 2 movie. Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween collected an estimated US$10 million, for a two-week total of US$35.5 million.
According to comScore, domestic ticket sales for October totalled US$539 million, a 13 per cent decline from the same month last year, when dramas like The Accountant and The Girl On The Train got turnstiles clicking.
Explanations for the downturn include the escalating popularity of streaming services - Stranger Things 2 arrived on Netflix on Friday - and subpar offerings from Hollywood.
Clooney's film, Suburbicon, received a D-minus grade from ticket buyers.
After years of focusing on big-budget fantasy movies, Hollywood may also have inadvertently trained people to think of moviegoing as less of a pastime and more as a special event.
Also flopping over the weekend was Thank You For Your Service, which cost Spielberg's Amblin Partners US$20 million to make and took in roughly US$3.7 million.