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'Scream 3' Kills The Competition

Typically this is the time of year that studios release the movies for which they have the lowest expectations, and moviegoers usually confirm those instincts by staying at home.

But Miramax took a stab at scaring up an audience and did bloody well in the process, reports The Early Show Contributor Gail O'Neill.

Slaughtering the competition at $35.2 million, Scream 3 came in No. 1 in weekend box office sales. The Hurricane was knocked down, but not out, coming in a distant No. 2. Stuart Little squeaked in at No. 3. Next Friday came in fourth. And Eye of the Beholder narrowly beat The Green Mile out of the No. 5 slot.

Here is a look at the numbers:

1. Scream 3$35.2 million
2. The Hurricane$4.91 million
3. Stuart Little$4.8 million
4. Next Friday$4.28 million
5. Eye of the Beholder$4.04 million

As if real life isn't exciting enough, many people actually insist on paying for the thrill of being scared half to death, and last weekend Scream 3 delivered.

The combination of suspense, tension and all out terror has made the Scream trilogy a big hit with horror fans. But Entertainment Weekly staff writer Dave Karger questions how thrilling box office receipts will be after opening weekend.

"With horror sequelsyou see the big bang in the first weekend," he says. "That's one of the reasons why Scream 3 might have made $35 million in the first weekend."

"The appeal of a movie like Scream 3 has to be looked at in the frame of reference of the first two Scream movies. The first two really revitalized the horror movie genre by adding humor to the slasher flick," he says.

"What that did is really got people excited, not only movie audiences excited, but people in Hollywood excited. And now you have actually big-time stars like Courtney Cox Arquette and Neve Campbell doing horror movies," Karger explains.

But the combination of big stars and humor isn't the only thing that makes this film a "scream."

"The real surprise of this film is Parker Posey," Karger says. "To see someone like her who is a really edgy indie film actress come into this, you know, more mainstream Hollywood movie and just add her one and only spice to it, is a real kick."

Miramax punted on having writer Kevin Williamson pen the final chapter of the Scream trilogy.

"The screenplay really is lacking his voice," Karger says. "Having said that, there are definitely some fun moments in the film. You will be scared. There's some interesting casting, and there's no way you will have figured out who the killer is. No matter who you are, no matter what you think, you will be surprised when you find out who the killer is."

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