Lionsgate pushes horror franchise back a week

Ending the question of who would flinch first, Lionsgate has pushed back the release of “Saw 3D” by a week to Oct. 29, averting a showdown with Paramount’s “Paranormal Activity 2.”

Lionsgate first claimed the Oct. 22 date, which falls a week before Halloween, but described the move as returning to its “Saw” roots for the franchise’s final chapter.The studio’s first “Saw” installment launched on Oct. 29, 2004, debuting with $18.3 million.

The holiday typically reps a slowdown at the box office, as moviegoers collect candy but not from the multiplexes. This year, however, Halloween falls on a Sunday.

Par’s “Paranormal” sequel would have provided stiff competish for “Saw,” given that “Paranormal Activity” became a box office phenomenon, grossing $107.9 million domestically.

Last year, the horror franchises went head-to-head as “Paranormal” expanded wide the same weekend “Saw VI” opened, with “Paranormal” earning $21.1 million compared to “Saw’s” $14.1 million debut. While “Paranormal 2″ could still divide auds in its soph sesh, earlier “Saw” offerings have performed well over the Halloween frame.”Saw 3D” also reps the first 3D installment for the franchise, which has grossed $730 million worldwide, and could help boost weekend revenues.

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