To the excitement of nobody I know, they've made another violence-porn "Saw" movie for Halloween. Zubin Jelveh asks the question on all of our lips -- "Dear God, why?" -- and comes up with a pretty good answer. By profit margins, it's the most successful movie franchise in the history of cinema. (I repeat: "Dear God, why!?")
The average profit margin for the top 45 grossing franchises of all time (where Saw is #44) is 605%. Saw's average margin is three times higher at 1,804%. (The next closest are Home Alone (1,365%), Jaws (1,341%), Star Wars (1,055%), and Lord of the Rings (986%).)
Given it's insanely cheap budget, you'd think that the rickety Blair
Witch Project movies could have made a run for Saw's money, but Blair
Witch 2 stupidly changed the aesthetic to look more professional and
flopped. It was like going to see Finding Nemo 2 and getting
live-action footage of Shark Week.