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Last Updated: Monday, 30 October 2006, 08:25 GMT
Saw III carves up US box office
Shawnee Smith and Tobin Bell in Saw III
Serial killer flick Saw III stars Shawnee Smith and Tobin Bell
Horror film Saw III has proved the most popular movie in North American cinemas during the weekend before Halloween, as its predecessors did in 2004 and 2005.

It took an estimated $34.3m (18m), knocking period drama The Prestige, which took $9.6m (5m), down to third.

Martin Scorsese's mob tale The Departed was number two for the third successive week, generating $9.8m (5.2m).

The only other new entry in the chart was Running With Scissors, a drama about a bizarre family, at number 10.

Torture

As with the other Saw films, the third in the series revolves around Jigsaw, an ailing serial killer played by Tobin Bell, who likes to invent ingenious methods of torture.

Darren Lynn Bousman, the director of Saw II, returned for this movie, working from a script by Leigh Whannell, who wrote all three.

Production company Lionsgate said it was the highest opening for an R-rated release since Troy in May 2004.

NORTH AMERICAN BOX OFFICE
1. Saw III ($34.3m)
2. The Departed ($9.8m)
3. The Prestige ($9.6m)
4. Flags of Our Fathers ($6.4m)
5. Open Season ($6.1m)
6. Flicka ($5m)
7. Man of the Year ($4.7m)
8. The Grudge II ($3.3m)
9. Marie Antoinette ($2.9m)
10. Running With Scissors ($2.6m)
Source: Exhibitor Relations

Elsewhere on a relatively quiet week, Clint Eastwood's World War II drama Flags of Our Fathers fell one place to fourth place, taking $6.4m (3.4m).

And animated comedy Open Season was also down one at number five, with box office receipts of $6.1m (3.2m).

For the fifth weekend in a row, takings among the major films were up, compared to a year ago.

The top 12 movies earned $89.1m (47m), a rise of 2.4% on the same weekend in 2005.


SEE ALSO
Film-maker hoping for horror hit
28 Oct 06 |  Northern Ireland
Scorsese's Departed still on top
24 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Prestige drama tops US film chart
23 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Grudge sequel heads US box office
16 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Saw sequel tops Halloween chart
31 Oct 05 |  Entertainment

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