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'Massacre' slays the competition

LOS ANGELES -- Bloodshed continues to rule at theaters.

"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," the remake of the 1974 horror tale that helped launch the modern slasher genre, debuted as the top weekend movie with $29.1 million, according to studio estimates yesterday.

Quentin Tarantino's bloody vengeance saga "Kill Bill -- Vol. 1," the previous weekend's No. 1 movie, slipped to second place with $12.5 million, lifting its 10-day total to $43.3 million.

The John Grisham court thriller "Runaway Jury," with Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack, and Rachel Weisz, opened in third place with $12.1 million.

"The School of Rock" was fourth with $11.3 million. After a strong debut in limited release a week earlier, Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River" -- starring Sean Penn and Tim Robbins -- expanded to wide release and came in at No. 5 with $10.36 million. The overall box office soared, with the top 12 movies grossing $105.3 million, up 43 percent from the same weekend last year, when the horror tale "The Ring" was the top movie with $15 million.

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