Box Office Preview

Fear Factor

''Scary Movie 3'' will scare off the competition. With a PG-13 rating, the franchise's third film stands to improve on No. 2's $34 million opening

Jenny McCarthy, Pamela Anderson, ... | RINGING UP A FORTUNE ''Scary Movie 3'' (starring Anderson and Jenny McCarthy) may be one of fall's biggest openings
RINGING UP A FORTUNE ''Scary Movie 3'' (starring Anderson and Jenny McCarthy) may be one of fall's biggest openings

When is a ''Scary Movie'' not really a scary movie? When it's ''Scary Movie 3.''

Let us explain. The third installment in the wildly popular Dimension Films franchise has brought its rating down from R to PG-13, limiting some of the gore of the first two films and turning its spoofing eye not only on horror flicks, but also on hits from other genres, like ''8 Mile'' and ''The Matrix Reloaded.'' Thanks to the clever eye of director David Zucker (''Airplane!''), new castmembers Pamela Anderson and Queen Latifah, and quite possibly the funniest trailer of the year, this ''Movie'' should scare up one of the biggest openings of the fall. ''Scary Movie 2'' grossed $34 million over the five-day Fourth of July weekend in 2001; this one should hit that number in just three days.

Meanwhile, last week's No. 1 film, ''Texas Chainsaw Massacre,'' should see decline in the 55 percent range from its $28.1 million debut to about $13 million, meaning it'll fight for second place with the new crowd-pleasing drama ''Radio,'' starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as a mentally challenged man who befriends the football coach (Ed Harris) in his South Carolina town. Sneak previews for ''Radio'' last weekend have spread the word about the tearjerker, which should debut with about $12 million.

The rest of the top five will be filled out with returning films ''Kill Bill -- Vol. 1,'' ''Runaway Jury,'' ''The School of Rock,'' or ''Mystic River,'' all of which will earn in the $7 million range. And the week's final new release, the buzz-free Angelina Jolie drama ''Beyond Borders,'' will likely open at the bottom of the top 10 with only $5 million. That'll be beyond bad.

Originally posted Oct 23, 2003
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