Nearly 40 years after the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre entered theaters, Leatherface is back once again for a new reboot/sequel called Texas Chainsaw 3D, which buzzed down the competition on Friday. Texas Chainsaw 3D scored a robust $10.2 million in its first day (well, technically that gross includes Thursday night shows), which easily put it in first place. Like almost all horror movies, though, Texas Chainsaw 3D, which earned a weak “C+” CinemaScore grade, will likely prove remarkably frontloaded over the course of its debut weekend, and it may finish the frame with about $22-23 million, making this the second year in a row — following The Devil Inside‘s $33.7 million bow last January — that a horror movie has kicked off the new year in first place.
Django Unchained took a decisive step ahead of both Les Miserables and The Hobbit on Friday, finishing in second with $6.2 million. Quentin Tarantino’s R-rated western should gross about $20 million over the three-day period, and it will gallop past the $100 million mark tonight.
In third place, last weekend’s box office champ The Hobbit earned another $5.2 million, and it should yield about $17 million for the weekend and a $263 million domestic total. Les Miserables finished close behind with $4.9 million. The musical will take in about $16 million by Sunday night, when it will have amassed a formidable $103 million gross. Finally, Parental Guidance, which is quietly turning into a solid hit for Fox, rounded out the Top 5 with $3.1 million, putting it on pace for about $11-12 million.
1. Texas Chainsaw 3D – $10.2 million
2. Django Unchained – $6.2 million
3. The Hobbit – $5.2 million
4. Les Miserables – $4.9 million
5. Parental Guidance – $3.1 million
Way back in tenth place, Matt Damon’s anti-fracking vehicle Promised Land fared terribly in its expansion from 25 to 1,676 theaters. The film earned just $1.3 million, giving it a truly awful $784 per theater average on its first day in wide release. Zero Dark Thirty did much better in a smaller expansion from 5 to 60 theaters. The controversial Bin Laden assassination movie earned a terrific $825,000 on Friday — enough for a sizzling $13,750 one-day per theater average. It moves into nationwide release next weekend.
Check back tomorrow for the full box office report, and follow me on Twitter for additional box office musing and up-to-the-minute updates!