'Hobbit' Expected To Defeat 'Texas Chainsaw 3D' At Box Office

Latest in the horror series is expected to debut at #3, behind 'Django Unchained.'

"Texas Chainsaw" may be one of the most widely recognized horror titles in pop culture, but it can't compete with found footage or fantasy figures. Last year, "The Devil Inside" defied expectations with a huge $34.5 million early January debut despite an extremely low budget, a 7 percent critical average and a CinemaScore of "F." "Texas Chainsaw 3D," this weekend's only major new flick, isn't likely to repeat the success of "Devil."

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is expected to win the weekend, with "Texas Chainsaw 3D" opening with roughly $16 million. Quentin Tarantino's holiday-week hit "Django Unchained" should slide in behind "The Hobbit" as well, putting "Chainsaw" at #3 for the weekend.

Industry projections put "The Hobbit" at about $19 million with "Django" not far behind.

"With everyone back to school, I think 'Hobbit' and 'Django' will take their requisite 50 percent drops," IMDB.com's Keith Simanton predicted to MTV News. " 'Les Misérables,' which appeals to an older crowd, may make a more graceful 42 to 45 percent drop."

Entertainment Weekly predicted a similar decline, projecting about $16 million for the musical, which would push its total past $100 million.

"Texas Chainsaw 3D" is the latest incarnation of story begun with the 1974 horror classic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," which chronicled cannibal maniac Leatherface (and his murderous family) and was loosely based on a real-life serial killer. The gritty film inspired slicker-looking sequels, including "The Next Generation" in 1994, which starred pre-fame Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey.

Jessica Biel costarred in a Michael Bay-produced remake, which collected just over $80 million in 2003. "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" followed three years later and took in $39.5 million. This latest flick follows a woman who encounters Leatherface in a home she inherits. It will debut Friday in 2,654 locations.

Speaking of theater counts, "Promised Land" will expand from 25 to 1,500 spots. Matt Damon co-wrote the drama, which is about the practice of natural gas "fracking" in small towns, with "The Office" star John Krasinski. Damon, of course, won an Oscar for the "Good Will Hunting" screenplay he co-wrote with Ben Affleck. Gus Van Sant directed both "Good Will Hunting" and the less-favorably reviewed "Promised Land."

"Promised Land" is expected to take in about $6 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts' "The Impossible," based on a true story from the 2004 tsunami, will expand from 16 theaters to 572.

Check out everything we've got on "Texas Chainsaw 3D."