‘Sinister,’ ‘Chainsaw 3D’ stake new release dates

Lionsgate-Summit pix claim Oct., Jan. spots

Newly merged companies Summit and Lionsgate are coordinating their distribution efforts by moving “Sinister” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D” to maximize each pic’s box office potential.

“Sinister,” originally slotted for Aug. 24, moves two months later to an Oct. 5 bow. “Chainsaw,” which previously held the Oct. 5 date, is now is pegged for Jan. 4, 2013.

The first weekend of the year has become prime real estate for horror films. “The Unborn” tapped that frame effectively in 2009, with $19.8 million, while “The Devil Inside” kickstarted 2012 with a record-setting $33.7 million — the best Stateside debut ever for a pic in early January.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to capitalize on how this genre historically has performed that first weekend in January,” said a Lionsgate spokesperson.

“Sinister,” meanwhile, aims to score in the run-up to Halloween. Pic, from “Paranormal Activity” producer Jason Blum, with producing partner Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, stars Ethan Hawke as a true-crime novelist, who after discovering the reasons behind a local family’s murder, is confronted by a supernatural entity.

In its new date, “Sinister” faces Tim Burton toon “Frankenweenie,” from Disney, and Fox’s “Taken” sequel. “Chainsaw” currently has the January date to itself.

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