‘Friday the 19th’ rakes in $42 million

Posted on Feb 16, 2009

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to watch college kids get slaughtered in a remake of ” Friday the 13th “?

The revival of the venerable slasher franchise easily took the No. 1 spot at the North American box office this weekend, setting a new record for a horror opening with estimated sales of $42.2 million, distributor Warner Bros . Pictures said on Sunday.

The old mark was held by ” The Grudge ” with a $39 million debut in 2004. That film had a less-restrictive PG-13 rating, while the R rating for “Friday the 13th” ostensibly prevented fans under age 17 from buying tickets unless accompanied by an adult.

The new film is essentially a remake of the 1980 film that kicked off the horror series and eventually introduced a hockey-masked villain named Jason. His most recent appearance, in 2003’s “Freddy vs. Jason,” generated a $36.4 million opening.

Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc , predicted “Friday the 13th” would end up in the $48 million range once sales for the U.S. Presidents Day holiday on Monday were calculated.

The film was directed by German filmmaker Marcus Nispel , who shot the hit 2004 retread of ” The Texas Chainsaw Massacre .” Both films were produced by “Transformers” director Michael Bay , whose Platinum Dunes banner specializes in low-budget horror remakes.

Source: Yahoo Movies