”The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” saw a Texas-size opening this weekend, premiering at the top of the box office with $29.1 million, according to studio estimates. The horror remake appealed to scary-movie fans of all ages, thanks to its nostalgic concept and cool young cast (including Jessica Biel and Eric Balfour). ”Chainsaw”’s gross after just three days has already almost matched the $30.9 total box office take of the original film in 1974. (Granted, there’s been a bit of inflation since then, but still.)
Second place went to last week’s champ, ”Kill Bill — Vol. 1,” which saw a smaller-than-expected drop of 43 percent to $12.5 million. After 10 days, the Quentin Tarantino samurai film starring Uma Thurman has earned $43.3 million.
Close behind was the new courtroom drama ”Runaway Jury,” with $12.1 million. Some prognosticators had expected the combined star power of John Cusack, Dustin Hoffman, and Gene Hackman to result in a No. 1 opening, but the young male draw of ”Chainsaw” was simply too strong.
Meanwhile, Jack Black’s comedy ”School of Rock” had another great hold, slipping only 27 percent to $11.3 million in its third week. The family-friendly comedy has now grossed a fantastic $55.2 million, and at this rate should easily cross $100 million.
The critical hit ”Mystic River” rounded out the top five with $10.4 million in its first weekend of wide release. Thanks to growing Oscar buzz for stars Sean Penn and Tim Robbins and director Clint Eastwood, this tough drama should hang around for a while.