By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated August 14, 2003 10:35 AM
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Corpses lined up — as did moviegoers — for this weekend’s top box-office draw, the double-slasher flick “Freddy vs. Jason,” featuring the bloody baddies of “Friday the 13th” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

The film opened with $36.4 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates.

“It worked because it’s a brand new series. It’s an original movie with name recognition,” Russell Schwartz, head of domestic marketing for the fear flick’s distributor New Line Cinema, told the Associated Press. “We took it seriously and didn’t turn it into ‘Scary Movie.’ Not that it doesn’t have humor, but we didn’t want to go too campy.”

(New Line, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner.)

“S.W.A.T.”, the previous weekend’s No. 1 movie, fell to second place, while Kevin Costner’s new Western, “Open Range,” performed respectably and opened at No. 3.

The critically reviled “Uptown Girls,” starring Brittany Murphy as reluctant nanny to a precocious 8-year-old girl, premiered in fifth place, while the skateboarding adventure “Grind” skidded in at No. 12.

The Thursday-Friday blackout that hit the Northeast seemed to have little effect on the weekend box office, notes AP, especially when it came to “Freddy vs. Jason,” though observers admit the overall effect of the electrical shortage is hard to gauge.

This weekend’s Top 10 movies, according to box-office estimates, was as follows:

1. “Freddy vs. Jason,” $36.4 million
2. “S.W.A.T.”, $18.6 million
3. “Open Range,” $14.1 million
4. “Freaky Friday,” $13.1 million
5. “Uptown Girls,” $11.2 million
6. “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” $8.5 million
7. “American Wedding,” $8.2 million
8. “Seabiscuit,” $8.1 million
9. “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over,” $5.2 million
10. “Bad Boys II,” $3.2 million