LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Wielding a sharp tool in a cut- throat box office derby in the post-holiday period, "Texas Chainsaw 3-D" drew droves of horror fans and sliced up major cinematic rivals including "Django" and "Hobbit" to take the top place in North America over the weekend.
The blood-drenched monster remake distributed by Lionsgate is on pace for a 23 million U.S. dollar three-day gate as it defied pre-release expectations of 15 million dollars to finish as the most popular film in its first three days of release.
The better-than-expected debut of the R-rated horror flick, made by Twisted Pictures, came in line with a tradition of horror films performing exceedingly well in early January when big-budget tentpoles have already made their debuts.
The film, aided by the 3-D format which is a first in the horror franchise, earned a "C+" rating on CinemaScore. A young moviegoer-skewing fare, it drew 64 percent of audience which was younger than 25 years and 48 percent male.
"Django Unchained" finished second with a 20 million dollar weekend. The slave epic, on track for a two-week gross of 106.4 million dollars, is the highest grossing film for director Quentin Tarantino.
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," in exhibition for the fourth week, fell two spots from last weekend to claim No. 3 with a 17.5 million dollar gate. The Peter Jackson directed 3-D fantasy film is on pace for a 263.8 million dollar gross in North America.
Rounding out the 10 most-popular movies in Norh America this weekend were "Les Miserables (USD16.1 million), "Parental Guidance " (10.1 million dollars), "Jack Reacher" (9.3 million dollars), " This Is 40" (8.6 million dollars), "Lincoln" (5.3 million dollars), "The Guilt Trip" (4.5 million dollars), and "Promised Land (2012)" (4.3 million dollars).