Hollywood loves a good horror movie and they tend to embrace it even faster if it’s using a familiar face…so to speak. This weekend Lionsgate is bringing back one of the box office’s most well-known villains with the return of the “Texas Chainsaw” saga and while critics are tearing the follow-up apart, the film is still set to slay the competition.
Puns aside the return of Leatherface and his infamous chainsaw couldn’t be entering the fray at a better time. Since 2008, studios have traditionally kicked off the year with at least one horror release and usually audiences get fully behind it; regardless of quality.
Last year Paramount got the year after to a shocking start when upstart horror film “The Devil Inside” made $33 million during the first weekend of 2012. Produced for just $1 million, the film is widely credited with helping to start what became a near three month period of year to year box office growth.
The January resurgence is expected to (somewhat) continue this weekend, with today’s early estimates having “Texas Chainsaw 3D” earning between $10 and $15 million. Taking into account the 3D up-charges, it’s not exactly a stellar start on paper, but for a film reportedly made for $8 million and released during a time dominated by expanding Oscar films and leftover holiday blockbusters, audiences seem willing to pay for a winter fright.
Of course the critics aren’t as eager for yet another installment in the “Chainsaw” saga, which picks up decades after the 1974 original left off. Looking at today’s round of reviews you can tell reviewers haven’t exactly been welcoming!
“Truth be told, the most frightening thing about the franchise at this point is that it just keeps on going.” William Goss, Film.com
“If Leatherface were a real person he would chainsaw through any movie studios that tried to give this battered franchise another reboot. Out of respect for all horror fans - leave 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' alone!” Clay Cane, BET.com
“Forget Texas Chainsaw 3D. For $11.75, I'll hold a chainsaw three inches from your face for an hour and a half. I'll even make you popcorn.” Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat
Still it is rare you’ll find a slasher/horror film that wins over audiences and critics, however as long as moviegoers happily fork over their money to see it, it’s unlikely film executives will lose any sleep over some less than glowing remarks.
So what’s your take New York? Will you check out the film? Hit the comments and let us know. Remember, don’t forget to subscribe to this column for all of the latest news about the winter movie season.