'Texas Chainsaw 3D' Carves Up the Box Office

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"Texas Chainsaw 3D" might be taking a bit of a critical drubbing this weekend (it's currently sitting at 24% on Rotten Tomatoes), but it's well on its way to being a decent hit at the box office, as it made $10.2 million on its opening day. That puts it on pace to make more than $20 million for the weekend, which would top industry expectations and make it the first box office champ for 2013.

While it seems doubtful that the film will eventually earn as much as Platinum Dunes's 2003 remake (which eventually brought in over $80 million), it looks like the franchise might rebound from its previous outing, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning," a film that eventually made a little less than $40 million.

As such, there might be life left in the franchise, which would be good news for both fans and production company Twisted Pictures. No stranger to long-running horror franchises itself (it's the company responsible for "Saw"), the studio has hoped that its run with Leatherface wouldn't be a one and done proposition.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly before the film's release, producer Carl Mazzocone revealed that he approached the franchise's rights owners with the intention of returning the series to its former glory. In a "small speech" to the owners, he explained how they were sitting on a "magnificent horror franchise that's been grossly mismanaged over the years."

He then insisted that if he were to have the "right to do six new movies," he would be able "to do for ["Texas Chainsaw Massacre"] what [Twisted Pictures] did for 'Saw.'" If the early box office receipts are any indication, Mazzocone might be keeping his end of the bargain.

It's not known if Mazzocone actually secured the rights to six films; however, there's little doubt that he has some number of sequels in mind, as he's already signed up the survivors of "Texas Chainsaw 3D" for future installments. He has also revealed that he plans to have a sequel in production as early as this summer, provided the first one is a big enough hit.

So far, that looks to be the case; of course, Mazzocone and company will probably wait to tally the final receipts before jumping the gun. After all, some previous horror franchise efforts have seen decent openings, only to subsequently drop like a rock during the next weekend.

For example, 2009's "Friday the 13th reboot grossed $50 million during its opening frame, only to experience an 80% drop the next week. A sequel was announced but has yet to go into production.

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