By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 27, 2003 07:33 AM

Halloween or no, “Scary Movie 3” — starring, among others, Anna Faris, Leslie Nielsen, George Carlin, Charlie Sheen and Queen Latifah –couldn’t have risen from the grave at a better time.

The latest entry in the franchise, which hit a low point with the uninspired “Scary Movie 2,” generated $49.7 million at the box office this past weekend, making it the best October opening for a movie ever, according to industry estimates.

The previous champ, according to the Hollywood Reporter, was last year’s “Red Dragon,” which made $36.5 million its first weekend.

In this latest feat, “Scary 3” bumped the previous weekend’s top movie, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” to second place, the Associated Press reports.

Coming in third was the new feel-good drama “Radio,” starring Cuba Gooding Jr. in the real-life story of a mentally disabled man befriended by a high school football coach (Ed Harris).

Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie has followed her previous flops “Original Sin” and “Life or Something Like It” with another fiasco, “Beyond Borders,” which didn’t even make the Top 10.

The Top 10 movies this weekend, according to studio estimates, were as follows:

1. “Scary Movie 3,” $49.7 million
2. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” $14.7 million
3. “Radio,” $14 million
4. “Runaway Jury,” $8.4 million
5. “Mystic River,” $7.6 million
6. “The School of Rock,” $6.5 million
7. “Kill Bill — Vol. 1,” $6 million
8. “Good Boy!”, $4.85 million
9. “Intolerable Cruelty,” $3.6 million
10. “Under the Tuscan Sun,” $2.2 million