Chainsaw 3D carves out No 1 debut
It took Leatherface and his chainsaw to chase tiny hobbit Bilbo Baggins out of the top spot at the US box office.
Lionsgate's horror sequel Texas Chainsaw 3D debuted at number one with 23 million dollars according to studio estimates.
The movie picks up where 1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre left off, with masked killer Leatherface on the loose again.
Quentin Tarantino's revenge saga Django Unchained held on at number two for a second-straight weekend with 20.1 million dollars. The Weinstein Co release raised its domestic total to 106.4 million.
After three weekends at number one, part one of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy slipped to third with 17.5 million dollars. That lifts the domestic haul to 263.8 million for The Hobbit. The Warner Bros blockbuster added 57.1 million dollars overseas to bring its international earnings to 561 million and its worldwide total to about 825 million.
Also passing the 100 million dollar mark over the weekend was Universal's musical Les Miserables, which finished at number four with 16.1 million, pushing its domestic total to 103.6 million, accrding to Hollywood.com.
Like other horror franchises, Texas Chainsaw Massacre has had several other remakes or sequels, but the idea always seems ripe for a new wave of fright-flick fans. Nearly two-thirds of the audience was under 25, too young - or not even born - when some earlier Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies came out.
"It's one of those that survives each generation. It's something that continues to come back and entertain its audience," said Richie Fay, head of distribution for Lionsgate.