Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 7, 2013

'Chainsaw 3-D' carves out No. 1 debut with $23M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It took Leatherface and his chainsaw to chase tiny hobbit Bilbo Baggins out of the top spot at the box office.

Lionsgate's horror sequel "Texas Chainsaw 3-D" debuted at No. 1 with $23 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The movie picks up where 1974's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" left off, with masked killer Leatherface on the loose again.

Quentin Tarantino's revenge saga "Django Unchained" held on at No. 2 for a second-straight weekend with $20.1 million. The Weinstein Co. release raised its domestic total to $106.4 million.

After three weekends at No. 1, part one of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy slipped to third with $17.5 million. That lifts the domestic haul to $263.8 million for "The Hobbit." The Warner Bros. blockbuster added $57.1 million overseas to bring its international earnings to $561 million and its worldwide total to about $825 million.

Also passing the $100 million mark over the weekend was Universal's musical "Les Miserables," which finished at No. 4 with $16.1 million, pushing its domestic total to $103.6 million.

Like other horror franchises, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" has had several other remakes or sequels, but the idea always seems ripe for a new wave of fright-flick fans. Nearly two-thirds of the audience was under 25, too young — or not even born — when earlier "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" movies came out.

"It's one of those that survives each generation. It's something that continues to come back and entertain its audience," said Richie Fay, head of distribution for Lionsgate.

"Texas Chainsaw" drew a hefty 84 percent of its business from 3-D screenings. Many movies now draw 50 percent or less of their revenue from 3-D screenings, but horror fans tend to prefer paying extra to see blood and guts fly with an added dimension.

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