There’s still life in the ol’ chainsaw after all. The latest Leatherface reboot/sequel, Texas Chainsaw 3D, revved up the new year, taking the top spot and all but assuring many more sequels/reboots/prequels/reimaginings to come. I guess 20 really is the new 40.
Attribute it to the lack of horror movies the past few months or proof that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre name brand still has considerable value, whatever the reason, Lionsgate’s first stab at bringing the Sawyer family to the big screen overperformed with $23.3 million at the box office this weekend (including $1.2 million from Thursday night sneak previews), edging out heavy-hitting holiday holdovers Django Unchained ($20 million) and The Hobbit ($17 million). That $23.3 million puts TC3D well below the $28+ million the Platinum Dunes remake opened to but well above the Platinum Dunes prequel’s $18 million opening.
A major reason for Texas Chainsaw 3D’s success might prove quite surprising to many of you. According to Yahoo! Movies, the audience skewered heavily female, 52% female to be exact. Why are chainsaw massacres suddenly so hot with the ladies? Sorry, Leatherface, you’re not the new Magic Mike; the ladies actually turned out to see Trey Songz. One in three female moviegoers claimed the R&B/hip hop artist’s co-starring turn was the primary reason they gave TC3D a go.
However, the movie didn’t overperform with mainstream and horror critics alike, who mostly ripped it to shreds in ways that would even make Leatherface squeamish, or with general audiences, who only gave it a “C+” Cinemascore, thus indicating the word of mouth is not good, and next weekend’s drop-off should be steeper than average for a second week horror flick.
Not that a big drop-off will matter that much seeing as how Lionsgate has already announced intentions to continue refueling the chainsaw. Seeing as how the deal they made for the franchise rights gives them the option of producing seven future Texas Chainsaw flicks, something tells me we’d be getting more installments regardless of how well this latest one did. Just don’t be surprised when future Leatherface massacres co-star the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Waka Flocka Flame, and Kid Cudi. Hey, maybe they can go all-out for the Pitch Perfect girlie audience by making the Texas Chainsaw Musical?
Next weekend will reveal just how huge TC3D’s drop-off will be and whether or not audiences are willing to endure the horrors of A Haunted House in order to witness a new Marlon Wayans’ comedy. Eh, more likely Gangster Squad and Zero Dark Thirty bury both of them.
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