Even as the past year has served up more than its share of real-life terrors, it turns out that die-hard horror fans can still be counted on to turn out for the latest cinematic fright-fest—even if there’s an A-list movie star appearing in the theater next door. Exhibit A: Spiral
, the newest chapter in the long-running Saw
franchise, bowed at No. 1 at the North American box office over the weekend with an $8.7 million haul, trouncing the high-profile debut of Angelina Jolie
’s survival thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead
. While Spiral
does feature a couple of bold-faced names of its own (namely, Chris Rock
and Samuel L. Jackson
), it’s always been the blood-soaked brand itself that’s been the big draw. Even squeamish critics, who gave the film a 39% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, couldn’t convince gore-hounds to stay away.