Monday, October 20, 2003

'Massacre' kills box-office competition



The Associated Press

Bloodshed continues to rule at theaters.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the remake of the 1974 horror tale that helped launch the modern slasher genre, debuted as the top weekend movie with $29.1 million, according to estimates Sunday.

Quentin Tarantino's bloody vengeance saga Kill Bill - Vol. 1, the previous weekend's No. 1 movie, slipped to second place with $12.5 million, lifting its 10-day total to $43.3 million.

The John Grisham court thriller Runaway Jury, with Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and John Cusack, opened in third place with $12.1 million.

After a strong debut in limited release a week earlier, Clint Eastwood's Mystic River - starring Sean Penn and Tim Robbins - expanded to wide release and came in at No. 5 with $10.36 million.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre stars Jessica Biel as one of a group of friends stranded in a Texas town, where they are preyed on by a clan of cannibals, including chainsaw killer Leatherface.

In its first weekend, the movie took in three times its $9.5 million production budget. Three-fourths of the audience was younger than 25, while the crowds were evenly split between men and women.

Biel's presence helped draw women into a gory genre flick that more typically appeals to men, said Russell Schwartz, head of domestic marketing for New Line.




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