Box Office Preview

'Texas' Justice

''Chainsaw'' will massacre the box office. The slasher remake should prevail over strong competition from ''Mystic River'' and ''Runaway Jury''

Mike Vogel, Eric Balfour, ... | WILL IT BE A 'MASSACRE'? From left: Biel, Mike Vogel, Erica Leerhsen, Jonathan Tucker, and Eric Balfour
Image credit: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Van Redin
WILL IT BE A 'MASSACRE'? From left: Biel, Mike Vogel, Erica Leerhsen, Jonathan Tucker, and Eric Balfour

Two weeks, two ultra-violent No. 1 films. Yep, it's October. Hot on the heels of ''Kill Bill'''s chart-topping debut, a remake of the horror classic ''The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'' will slice and dice its way to the top of the box office heap this weekend. Thanks to its tried-and true concept and hot young cast (including ''7th Heaven'' starlet Jessica Biel), the scary update should pack the 'plexes with 17-and-up film fans hungry for more murder. Since everything's bigger in ''Texas,'' expect this ''Massacre'' to beat ''Bill'''s $22.1 million debut with a $27 million opening weekend.

Second place will be a race between the expanding hit ''Mystic River'' and the new courtroom drama ''Runaway Jury.'' After earning around $50,000 per theater last weekend, ''River,'' directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon, will capitalize on its fantastic reviews and early Oscar buzz in its first weekend of wide release with a $15 million take. ''Runaway Jury,'' meanwhile, is the latest John Grisham film adaptation and stars John Cusack, Gene Hackman, and Dustin Hoffman, whose combined star power should be strong enough for a $13 million debut.

That'll push ''Kill Bill -- Vol. 1'' back to fourth place, as the Quentin Tarantino samurai tale will drop 50 percent to $11 million. And Jack Black will log one more week in the top five with ''The School of Rock,'' which should slip 35 percent or so to $10 million. We're glad to see that class is still in session.

Originally posted Oct 16, 2003