It’s probably the most unlikely head-to-head matchup so far on WWTW—a chainsaw wielding cult icon versus an Oscar winner, but that’s the unpredictability of releases this time of year as Award Season hopefuls like Matt Damon’s “Promised Land” (which this weekend expanded and now is in over a thousand theaters) goes up against tired horror franchises, like the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” which for its latest reboot has been given the 3D treatment.
With little competition “Texas Chainsaw” was number one with $23 million (continuing the dominance of horror titles in January and February). While holdovers Quentin Tarantino‘s slave-era epic “Django Unchained” and Peter Jackson‘s first of three installment of “The Hobbit” came in second and third with $20.1 million and $17.5 million, respectively.
Now it’s time to see if one of the most respected horror characters or one of the most respected actors in the business won the week.
Leatherface – “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D”
Though the latest “Chainsaw” got poor reviews, as usual, horror fans don’t seem to care as they cam out strong on Friday night leading to the film taking in$10.2 million. Or course their all running to see that towering psychopath Leatherface, which became immortalized in the original low budget “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” in 1974. Since then there have been six films either in the sequel or reboot variety. Leatherface has gotten bigger and more menacing (though more in a cartoony way than the raw terror of the original) leading to the obvious idea of making the character even more menacing by unleashing him in 3D.
This week was filled with countless posts on the web praising Leatherface and horror blog Dread Central even talked to the latest actor to play the character, Dan Yeager.
But the big news this week was, like it or not, Lionsgate has already locked in for a “Chainsaw 3D” sequel.
So Leatherface isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Matt Damon – “Promised Land”
For Matt Damon’s latest project he delves into the controversial procedure known as “fracking” to produce natural gas. A cash cow for companies but could potentially be unsafe for the people who live around where the fracking is happening. That’s the dilemma of Damon’s character, Steve, in the film who is a representative for a natural gas company who come to a small farm town to convince owners to sell their land to his company can do the fracking.
Damon co-wrote the screenplay with “The Office” star John Krasinski (who also stars in the film), leading to weeks of “bromance” news coverage (hey, whatever get the film out there, right?). So does this mean the long Damon/Ben Affleck bromance is no more? We don’t think so, and Krasinski doesn’t think so either. “I can’t break up the bromance!” he said, according to Perez Hilton. “I think I’ll be thrown into a car and I’ll disappear for many, many years. That’s an untouchable one. Especially being a kid from Boston, you don’t go anywhere near the Matt and Ben thing. If there is a bromance, I’m sort of like the mistress who’s off on the side, and that’s not a good place to be, trust me. I don’t want that, I’ll just let them do their thing.”
And how can we talk about Matt Damon without bringing up Liberace. If you didn’t know, Damon is starring opposite Michael Douglas in a Liberace biopic. Douglas will play the famous flamboyant musician and Damon plays his much younger lover. In the last few days we’ve gotten more about the film (titled “Behind the Candelabra,” which will air on HBO) as Douglas, Damon and director Steven Soderbergh did press at the Television Critics Association.
And the winner is…
We thought long and hard but we think we have to call this one a tie. Whether you like the “Chainsaw” films or not, Leatherface is an iconic character and like Freddy Krueger or Jason and countless other horror characters, it’s not the films we go to see but seeing these maniacs and what they’ll do next.
And Damon is just getting better and better. Outside of a few misses (remember “We Bought a Zoo”?) he’s been choosing amazing roles and working with the best directors.
So all we can say is both of these guys have won the week. Enjoy the love.