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Halloween Weekend Box Office
October 31, 2005 by By DAVID GERMAIN (AP Movie Writer)
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Horror swung a sharper blade than Zorro at the box office. With Halloween at hand, the bloody "Saw II" won the weekend with $30.5 million, almost double the $16.5 million opening of Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones' swashbuckling sequel "The Legend of Zorro," according to studio estimates Sunday.

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The weekend's other big-name wide releases had so-so premieres. "Prime," starring Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep in a romance between a thirtysomething woman and a younger man, debuted at No. 3 with $6.4 million.

Nicolas Cage's "The Weather Man," in which he plays a materially successful TV forecaster whose personal life is a tempest of disorder, opened at No. 6 with $4.3 million.

Hollywood's box-office slump abated from the double-digit percentage declines of recent weekends, though receipts still were down. The top 12 movies took in $86.3 million, off 6.5 percent from the same weekend last year.

"Saw II," featuring Donnie Wahlberg as a cop drawn into a deadly game with the serial killer of the 2004 horror hit "Saw," easily outdid the original movie's $18.3 million opening over last Halloween weekend.

Distributor Lions Gate, which acquired the low-budgeted "Saw" at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, rushed ahead to get the sequel in theaters just a year after the original's release. "Saw" did a respectable $55.2 million at the domestic box office, but the sequel got a big boost from fans who discovered the franchise on DVD.

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Photo Credit: Lions Gate Films
Content Provider: Associated Press
Copyright: Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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