Sequels win and lose at box office

Villanovan Editor

The “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” series began in 1974. For a small budget film, the original raked in a substantial amount of money (approximately $30.9 million). However, the following films made the possible success of a modern-day remake seem impossible. The first film bred two sequels, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” (1986) and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3” (1990). The films grossed a little over $13 million combined. The real bomb of the series came in 1994. “The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre” featured Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey, who were not well-known at the time. The film brought in under $95,000, possibly a result of the small budget.

The success of the original was not felt in a remake until 2003, and this was reflected in the box office numbers. Produced by Michael Bay, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” made $28.1 million in its opening weekend. Set in 1974, five youths driving through the backwoods of Texas pick up a traumatized hitchhiker, who commits suicide in their van.

Shaken by her death, the group seeks help from the locals, but their situation becomes even more surreal when they knock on the door of a remote homestead.

It’s quickly apparent that something is very wrong with the residents of the home, and the doomed youths suddenly find themselves in a fight for survival.

However, the disfigured, chainsaw-wielding cannibal Thomas Hewitt (known as Leatherface) shows no mercy.

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning,” a prequel to the original, was recently released. Set in 1969 during the Vietnam War, four teens spend their last weekend together before the two young men are sent overseas. When a car accident totals their vehicle, they seek help in a nearby town. Instead, they find themselves running for their lives from Thomas Hewitt.

The film received an estimated budget of $16 million and just barely squeaked by with an R-rating.

Brad Fuller, one of the producers of the film, said that the film was originally given an NC-17 rating by the Motion Picture Association of America.

However, 17 scenes were edited, and the rating was changed to R.