There's an old adage in Hollywood that goes something like this: Never count out a man wielding a chainsaw. Or at least there will be a new adage like that after this weekend's surprise box office victory by the horror franchise reboot "Texas Chainsaw 3D," which cut down the competition with an estimated $23 million.
That was enough to take the top spot away from a slightly stale crop of returning films, as each of the next three movies on the box office chart — "Django Unchained" ($20.1 million), "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" ($17.5 million) and "Les Misérables" ($16.1 million) — have been out since Christmas or earlier. Both "Django Unchained" and "Les Misérables" did cross the $100 million mark this weekend, however.
Of course, "Texas Chainsaw's" reign may be a short lived one. Besides earning a mediocre C+ Cinemascore rating from viewers (which is par for the course for horror movies), the relaunch of the classic 70's grindhouse series will be facing a selection of new releases next weekend that is unusually strong for early January; in addition to Kathryn Bigelow's critically acclaimed thriller "Zero Dark Thirty," next week's lineup includes high profile films like Ryan Gosling's "Gangster Squad" and the horror spoof "Haunted House."
Still, given that the producers of "Texas Chainsaw" have already announced plans for up to five sequels, the box office win has to be good news for anyone hoping to have their face cut off —or at least their mind blown in the movie theater.
Here's a look at the full weekend box office top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "Texas Chainsaw 3D" - $23m (our review)
2. "Django Unchained" - $20.1m (our review)
3. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" - $17.5m (our review)
4. "Les Misérables" - $16.1m (our review)
5. "Parental Guidance" - $10.1m (our review)
6. "Jack Reacher" - $9.3m
7. "This Is 40" - $8.6m (our review)
8. “Lincoln” – $5.3m (our review)
9. "The Guilt Trip" - $4.5m
10. "Promised Land" - $4.3m (our review)