Box Office: A Haunted House Opens Big, Texas Chainsaw 3D Runs Out of Gas

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Leatherface Chainsaws His Way to the Top of the Box OfficeThe box office weekend may have belonged to the hunt for Osama Bin Laden; but dick, fart, and pot jokes helped the Paranormal Activity spoof A Haunted House open big in second place.

Meanwhile, poor Texas Chainsaw 3D got so massacred it nearly dropped out of the top ten a week after topping it.

Last weekend a couple of readers gave me flack for being too cynical in regards to Texas Chainsaw 3D’s box office prospects. Now it looks like I may not have been cynical enough. A week ago TC3D was the #1 movie in the country, opening with over $23 million. A week later it’s all the way down to 9th place with only $5.15 million. Horror movies that open big tend to drop big in its second week, but a 72% drop is far worse than average.

According to Box Office Mojo, that week two death plunge is roughly equal to the one suffered last year by The Devil Inside, a movie you may recall with an ending that so infuriated moviegoers there were reports from around the country of audiences booing, throwing things at the screen, and even spitting on the ground in disgust. At least TC3D didn’t inspire people to spew bodily fluids on the theater floor in protest.

Texas Chainsaw 3D is now expected to peter out around $40 million, putting its box office totals right on par with Platinum Dunes’ prequel Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which is still only half of what the Platinum Dunes remake grossed.

The good news for Leatherface fans is that’s still good enough for Millennium Films and Lionsgate to go ahead and announce the saw is revving up for yet another sequel. That sequel may or may not already be in the planning stages depending on which producer is being asked. A little behind-the-scenes mess they’re going to have to sort out first.

Never underestimate the power of the lower common denominator. That’s the lesson to be glommed from A Haunted House’s $18.8 million second place opening. The Marlon Wayans horror spoof was no match for Oscar nominated Zero Dark Thirty’s $24+ million but more than enough to upset Gangster Sqaud’s $16 million bow. A “B-“ Cinemascore seems to indicate it won’t have much legs in the coming weeks. Regardless, this will still prove a moneymaker for Open Road Entertainment, and nobody should be surprised when a sequel gets announced.

A Haunted House’s opening probably has the makers of Scary Movie 5 feeling a little more confident today knowing this brand of spoof movie is still bankable, and you just know somewhere out there Friedberg & Seltzer are rubbing their hands, doing their best Mr. Burns “excellent” impression.

Next weekend sees Zero Dark Thirty Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain battling herself for the top slot when the Guillermo Del Toro-produced Mama she stars in opens. Given strong early word-of-mouth from those that have seen it, Mama could prove to be a real sleeper hit.

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  • KlassikKush666

    A Haunted House will surely drop. Horror movies tend to do good in the off season the first few weeks of showing due to all the diehards going right away while the rest of the population teeters off the rest of the results; which is fine it happens to every type of movie from time to time just with our genre more often than not. But yes, at least TCM3D was not the Devil Inside…good god i wanted to break my 60″ after watching it. was so happy i hadnt gone in to a theater with some of my friends it was barely worth the rental with that horrid drop-off. can’t even call it an ending cause it just stops at what would’ve been a potentially great set up for a real ending (but I digress).

  • MonsterMash

    I have several friends who aren’t big on horror films who want to see Mama. I’m betting that will do well.

  • DavidFullam

    It may have been, but it still took in too much money.

  • kiddcapone

    I figured as much. When I suffered through Texas Chainsaw 3D on Friday, I was the only person in the entire theater…and that was for the cheap bargin matinee. So yeah…word of mouth spreads fast.

  • theGoldenSimatar

    Never underestimate the power of parents hauling truckloads of kids 9-14 to Haunted House. After the initial 10pm sneak screening (which was mostly college kids and teens) the rest of the weekend was mostly parents taking kids to see it. R rating be damned.