Lionsgate moves ‘Saw 3D’ release date to avoid face off with ‘Paranormal Activity 2’


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In the battle of the horror giants, Jigsaw has blinked: Lionsgate Thursday pushed back the release date of “Saw 3D” from Oct. 22 to Oct. 29.

The move avoids a looming standoff on Oct. 22, when Paramount was scheduled to open “Paranormal Activity 2” against the seventh entry in the annual “Saw” series.


All of the “Saw” movies since 2004’s original have opened on the weekend before Halloween and Lionsgate had the same plan for this year’s installment. However, in January Paramount made clear its intentions of supplanting “Saw” with its fresh horror series by dating “Paranormal Activity 2,” a follow-up to last year surprise low-budget hit, on the same date, Oct. 22.

The date added insult to injury after Paramount attempted to recruit Keven Greutert, the director of “Saw VI,” to helm “Paranormal Activity 2.” However, production company Twisted Pictures ended up exercising its contractual option to have Greutert work on “Saw 3D” instead and Paramount ended up hiring indie director Tod Williams. [Updated: A previous version of this post stated that Lionsgate exercised the contractual option. It was Twisted Pictures.]

Last October, “Saw VI” opened on the same weekend that “Paranormal Activity” played in a nationwide release for the first time and grossed a disappointing $14.1 million, compared to $21.1 million for “Paranormal.” Executives at Lionsgate apparently decided they would rather concede the Oct. 22 date than repeat the same experience.

In an interview Thursday with USA Today, “Saw” producer Oren Koules said “Saw 3D” be the last entry in the series, which has grossed more than $370 million since 2004. The first five entries were all successes, but last year’s “Saw VI” was a surprise disappointment.

-- Ben Fritz

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