×

Box Office: ‘Hobbit’ to cut down ‘Texas Chainsaw’

Horror redo looking at low to mid teens

The 2013 domestic box office has some big, fast-starting shoes to fill.

Last year, record-setting “The Devil Inside” kicked off 2012 with $34 million in what’s traditionally the horror genre’s second home outside Halloween, but Lionsgate chiller “Texas Chainsaw 3D” is expected to perform in the low-to-mid teens.

Warner Bros.’ “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is expected to continue what should be a four-week winning streak, topping “Chainsaw,” which bows at 2,654 locations. The film should hold well after last weekend, dropping in the 30% range for a three-day gross in the low-$20 millions.

So far, “Hobbit” has cumed $242 million domestically, with more than $465 million overseas.

This time last year, domestic B.O. greatly overperformed, particularly “The Devil Inside,” which pundits expected would debut in the mid teens. The unpredictable nature of tracking horror films — word-of-mouth through the weekend is a big factor — means “Chainsaw” might also beat predictions.

Lionsgate reached core horror fans by airing TV spots during shows including “The Walking Dead.” Guys were targeted with advertising during college bowl games, as well as on cable nets including MTV and Comedy Central.

As part of the studio’s viral efforts, Lionsgate partnered with Tumblr to create online galleries inspired by the film. The blog site also sponsored ten 10 p.m. screenings on Thursday.

This marks only the second first-quarter release for the “Texas Chainsaw” franchise; most of the other pics bowed in October, including the most recent — 2006’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” — which opened to $18.5 million. None of the recent “Chainsaw” pics have done exceptional business Stateside, except the 2003 remake, with $80 million domestically. The original Tobe Hooper-helmed 1974 scarer was one of the most profitable independent films of the era.

Lionsgate developed the 3D version, with Millennium Films as a financial partner. The studio has invested $20 million in P&A, though it’ll also earn distribution fees.

Along with “The Hobbit,” Stateside box office will keep busy with holiday holdovers “Django Unchained,” “Les Miserables” and Billy Crystal-Bette Midler laffer “Parental Guidance” still doing business. “Django” has cumed $82 million domestically, just behind “Les Mis,” with $84 million. “Parental Guidance” reached $40 million and counting.

Meanwhile, Focus Features expands topical Matt Damon fracking pic “Promised Land,” directed by Gus Van Sant, to 1,675 locations. Last weekend, the film underperformed, averaging just $7,000 from 25 locations. Pic’s totaled only $295,000 through Wednesday.

Also expanding is Summit’s tsunami drama “The Impossible,” at 572 engagements, and Sony’s controversial “Zero Dark Thirty,” at 60. “The Impossible” has cumed almost $650,000 since bowing Dec. 21; “Zero Dark Thirty” has grossed $1.6 million domestically.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Gina Rodriguez'Someone Great' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Gina Rodriguez Apologizes After Rapping N-Word in Deleted Instagram Video

    “Jane The Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez has released an apology video shortly after she used the N-word while rapping along to a Fugees song in a video posted to her Instagram story. In the original video, which has since been deleted, Rodriguez raps along to “Ready or Not” while having her hair and makeup done. [...]

  • After a Revolution

    Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund Winners Announced

    The Tribeca Film Institute and Gucci announced on Tuesday this year’s recipients for the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund. Now in its 12th year, TFI and Gucci have awarded $140,000 in grant funding, covered by Gucci, to support nine documentaries highlighting domestic and international matters, with a focus on female-led stories and filmmakers. The funding will [...]

  • countdown

    Apple Takes Down Viral 'Countdown' Horror App, STX Brings It to Android Instead

    An app that can predict the date and time of your death may have been too much for Apple to stomach: The iPhone maker removed a viral app inspired by the upcoming horror movie “Countdown” a few days ago, putting an end to its meteoric rise. Before its removal, “Countdown” had surpassed TikTok, YouTube and [...]

  • Babyteeth Eliza Scanlen

    Eliza Scanlen Drama 'Babyteeth' Lands at IFC for North America (EXCLUSIVE)

    IFC Films has acquired North American rights to the drama “Babyteeth,” starring Eliza Scanlen, Essie Davis, Ben Mendelsohn, and Toby Wallace, Variety has learned exclusively. The film had its world premiere in competition at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival, where Wallace won the Marcello Mastroianni award for best new young performer. It will be [...]

  • Neil Patrick Harris arrives at night

    'Matrix 4': Neil Patrick Harris Lands Role in Latest Installment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Neil Patrick Harris is the latest addition to the ensemble cast for the upcoming fourth installment of the “Matrix” franchise. He joins Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, who will be reprising their roles in the film, as well as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who was tapped as one of the leads last week. Plot details are [...]

  • Amanda Seyfried attends a special screening

    Amanda Seyfried Joins Gary Oldman in David Fincher's 'Mank'

    Amanda Seyfried is set to join Netflix’s “Mank,” David Fincher’s latest biopic revolving around “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, with Gary Oldman tapped to play the titular role. Lily Collins, Charles Dance, Tuppence Middleton, Arliss Howard, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jamie McShane, Joseph Cross, Sam Troughton, Toby Leonard Moore, Tom Burke, and Tom Pelphrey will also appear [...]

  • Cuba Gooding Jr

    Cuba Gooding Jr. Accused of Groping 14 Women at Bars and Clubs

    Prosecutors on Tuesday accused Cuba Gooding, Jr., of a long-standing pattern of approaching unfamiliar women in bars and kissing, pinching, biting or groping them. Gooding appeared in court in Manhattan for an arraignment on four misdemeanor counts of forcible touching and third degree sexual abuse. He pleaded not guilty, and is due back in court [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content