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Saw or Final Destination - which is the bigger horror franchise?

It's the battle of the franchises. We've done some digging to finally find out whether Saw or Final Destination is the bigger and better horror movie series.

Saw VS Final Destination: Lawrence from Saw and Alex from Final Destination

Which is the bigger horror franchise out of Saw or Final Destination? Two households, both alike in gore. In The Digital Fix, where we lay our scene. That’s right, it’s time to find out once and for all which, out of Saw and Final Destination, is the bigger horror franchise obsessed with blood and guts.

Saw and Final Destination aren’t as different as you might think. Both have a place on the list of the best horror movies of all time, and both have new movies either freshly arrived or in development. But when it comes to the Final Destination collection vs. the Saw movies in order, which takes the bloody crown?

Well, we’ve gone about using our horror movie expertise to the fullest extent. Below you’ll find our comparisons between the two against different factors to try to determine who comes out on top. Will it be Billy the Puppet, or the ever-present shadow of Death? Let’s find out which is the bigger horror franchise out of Saw or Final Destination. 

Which is the bigger horror franchise out of Saw or Final Destination?

In order to uncover the answer of which is the ultimate gorrer (gore-horror) franchise, we’ve looked at a five different metrics to break down whether Saw or Final Destination ranks higher. For clarity, we’re looking at the franchise as a whole, as opposed to the original movie for each respective series.

Here’s which ranks better between Saw and Final Destination:

Saw VS Final Destination: Amanda in the Reverse Bear Trap

Box Office earnings

When it comes to total box office earnings across the franchise, Saw takes the win with an eye-watering $1 billion earned in theaters prior to the release of Saw X.

Final Destination, meanwhile, has earned just over $657 million at the box office. Of course, Saw overtakes Final Destination by quite a mile.

It’s also worth noting that the first Final Destination made just over $112 million during its initial worldwide run, while the first Saw movie made $103 million. Therefore, Saw’s major box office income has been earned over time through audience loyalty and a growing reputation. By this measure, Saw comes out on top.

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Number of movies

When it comes to the number of movies made within the franchise, Saw wins with a whopping ten movies, including the most recent outing in 2023, Saw X.

Final Destination has five movies across the board, with Final Destination 6 on the way. That said, it’s very likely, given the hype for Saw 10, that there’s going to be a Saw 11 release date down the line. Let’s not forget: the Saw universe hasn’t been limited, and has consisted of prequels, sequels, and spin-offs.

Although Final Destination 5 was a surprise prequel, Saw is the more expansive universe through the sheer number of installments.

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Reviews and ratings

On the critical front, Saw doesn’t do too well, with only one out of ten movies earning an above 50% score on Rotten Tomatoes, while Final Destination wins by having two movies ranking above 50%.

Over on IMDb, the Final Destination series has a median average score of 5.9, which Saw actually matches. Therefore, Final Destination beats out its grizzlier cousin by the smallest measure. But it still counts as a win!

That said, if you want to find out how the newest Saw movie ranks in our minds, you can take a look at our Saw X review.

Saw VS Final Destination: The cast of Final Destination

Kill count

Based on a combination of protagonist deaths and mentioned deaths, the Final Destination boasts a shocking 524 fatalities, while Saw clocks just over 100.

This makes sense, if you think about it. Final Destination is mostly about characters avoiding mass accidents and disasters, and while they usually escape the first time around, others aren’t so lucky. The combined tragedies of a plane crash, a pile-up, roller-coaster accident, racetrack crash, and bridge collapse all mean that hundreds of civilians meet their end.

Saw, on the other hand, is partly due to the work of one serial killer (though he claims not to be a killer), and there’s only so many people he can make traps for. That said, he does have some students to do his bidding. The numbers vary according to sources, but it’s generally believed that there are roughly 105 deaths throughout the franchise, reaching 110 with the latest addition of Saw 10. Sorry, Jigsaw — you’re no match for Death itself.

Saw VS Final Destination: John Kramer in Saw X

Level of gore

Okay, this one’s a little subjective, but the general consensus of The Digital Fix team is that Saw is the gorier franchise due to the severe nature of the deaths.

Final Destination is a franchise just as fixated on the creativity and shocking nature of the deaths as Saw, but the nature of the latter is far more vicious. The deaths in Saw have a much more evil nature to them, and the grimy, dirty aesthetic of the Saw traps causes a greater feeling of discomfort. Plus, you generally tend to see a lot more in the Saw movies, and the gore can look very realistic.

The Final Destination franchise does have some incredibly disturbing moments of gore (having your insides being sucked out by a swimming pool drain, for one), but the kill style of the movies tends to be a little more over-the-top. It’s easier to disassociate from the Final Destination gore because it doesn’t seem as realistic, and get sillier as time goes on.

For the record, every movie in both franchises is rated R so, in the eyes of most classification boards, they’re equally filled with mature content.

Saw VS Final Destination: A woman caught in Jigaw's trap

The Winner: Saw

Ladies and gentlemen, by most metrics, the bigger horror franchise is Saw!

Based on our completely scientific testing and results, it looks like Saw is the winner when it comes to this battle of the franchises. While both film series are similar, Saw just about beats Final Destination when it comes to the box office, size of the franchise, and gore-factor.

Of course, this is only based on our findings and what we’ve chosen to compare them on — you may prefer to base your pick entirely on, say, the kill count or the critical rating. And you know what? That’s just fine. If we were being completely honest, we’ve always preferred the Final Destination movies over the Saw franchise. Just…don’t tell Jigsaw, okay?

Keep an eye out for any future franchise battles. In the meantime, you can find out more about the Saw X age rating, and see when Saw X takes place. You can also examine our lists of the best slasher movies and best body horror movies for more gore. Elsewhere, take a look at the best movies of all time for more greats.

You can also keep an eye on the future with our guides to The Exorcist: Believer release date and the Five Nights at Freddy’s release date. We’ve also got a list of the best movie villains of all time and a feature on why PG-13 horror can be great.