Despite all the recent hand-wringing over violence in films, the R-rated horror film Texas Chainsaw 3D slashed its way to the top of the box office over the weekend -- the first of 2013 -- as it took in an estimated $23.3 million -- far exceeding the $13-18 million that many forecasters thought it would make. Many had predicted that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey would again be the film to beat. What happened instead was that the Peter Jackson epic fell to third place with $17.5 million (it was expected to collect $20-25 million), beaten out by Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, which finished in second place with about $20 million. Django, which opened on Christmas Day, has already crossed the $100-million mark (to $106.3 million), and appears certain to become Tarantino's highest-grossing movie, beating 2009's Inglourious Basterds, which raked in $120.5 million during its entire domestic run. Slipping to fourth place, Les Misérables brought in $16.1 million and also crossed the $100-million mark (to $103 million). Rounding out the top five, Parental Guidance dropped a modest 30 percent to wind up with $10.1 million. The best performer on a per-theater basis was Sony's Zero Dark Thirty, which took in about $2.8 million in just 60 theaters, for a per-theater average of $46,000.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
1. Texas Chainsaw 3-D, $23 million; 2. Django Unchained, $20.1 million; 3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, $17.5 million; 4. Les Misérables, $16.1 million; 5. Parental Guidance, $10.1 million; 6. Jack Reacher, $9.3 million; 7. This Is 40, $8.6 million; 8. Lincoln, $5.3 million; 9. The Guilt Trip, $4.5 million; 10. Promised Land, $4.3 million.