Lionsgate’s final instalment in the horror franchise ruled the roost in North America thanks to an estimated $22.5m debut.

Combined with Thursday night previews, Saw 3D stands at $24.2m and despite this being the third lowest launch in the franchise, it has already almost overtaken the entire gross of Saw VI.

That film delivered a huge disappointment for Lionsgate last year when it opened in second place behind Paranormal Activity and finished on $27.7m.

Speaking of Saw’s nemesis, Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 2 fell one place to number two on $16.5m for an excellent $65.7m after two weekends.

Paramount had more to celebrate as Jackass 3-D crossed $100m in its third weekend, ranking fourth on $8.4m for $101.6m. Summit’s graphic novel adaptation Red in third place has grossed $58.9m after three weekends.

Fox Searchlight’s miscarriage of justice drama Conviction starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell jumped 15 places to tenth after expanding from 55 to 565 theatres and adding $1.8m for $2.4m after three weekends.

Music Box opened The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest – the third and final thriller in the Millennium series – in 13th place through on $915,000 from 153 screens.

Samuel Goldwyn Films and Destination Films’ Welcome To The Rileys earned $45,000 on ten screens and will expand on November 12. Kristen Stewart, James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo star. Goldwyn and ATO Pictures’ Mao’s Last Dancer has amassed $4.4m.

Next weekend’s wide releases are DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill; Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures’ Todd Phillips comedy Due Date starring Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis; and Lionsgate’s ensemble drama For Colored Girls directed by Tyler Perry.

Estimated Top 10 North America Oct 29-31, 2010

Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) Saw 3D (Lionsgate) Lionsgate $22.5m  $24.2m

2 (1) Paranormal Activity 2 (Paramount) PPI $16.5m $65.7m

3 (3) Red (Summit) Summit Int’l $10.8m $58.9m

4 (2) Jackass 3-D (Paramount) PPI $8.4m $101.6m

5 (4) Hereafter (Warner Bros) WBPI $6.3m $22.2m

6 (6) Secretariat (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $5.1m $44.8m

7 (5) The Social Network (Sony) SPRI $4.7m $79.7m

8 (7) Life As We Know It(Warner Bros) WBPI $4m $43.5m

9 (9) The Town (Warner Bros) WBPI $1.9m $87.6m

10 (25) Conviction (Fox Searchlight) Voltage $1.8m $2.4m