Lions Gate Filmsand Twisted Pictures have announced plans to release Saw 2 over Halloween 2005 following the horrorpicture Saw's mighty$18.3m weekend debut.

Saw opened in third place and averaged morethan $7,900 on 2,315 screens, ranking behind the second place opening of Ray and Columbia's The Grudge, which stayed top in its second weekend.

"We were confident going into this weekend as the only newhorror release that we would hit our target audience of genre fans, but thishas exceeded all our expectations," Tom Ortenberg, president of Lions GateFilms Releasing, said in a statement.

"With Saw, JamesWan and Leigh Whannell have tapped into filmgoers' most base fears and havecreated something that people immediately feel they need to talk about withothers, and see again to catch clues they may have missed the first time."

"We are thrilledabout the strong opening weekend of Saw," producers Mark Burg, Oren Koules and Gregg Hoffman ofTwisted Pictures added.

"Lions Gate'smarketing and distribution team has done a phenomenal job and we're veryexcited to be partnering with them again on Saw 2."

Saw centres on amadman who abducts morally wayward people and forces them to play horrificsurvival games. Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter and Leigh Whannellstar.