LionsGate Films has announced it will release a third Saw film for Hallowe'en next year.
Currently scheduled for an October 27, 2006 release, the news of Saw III mirrors last year when the surprise success of the low budget original quickly prompted the announcement of a sequel for this year.
Produced by Twisted Pictures on an estimated $1.2m production budget,2004's Saw grossed $55.2m in North America for Lions Gate and $47.4m internationally.
Itproved particularly strong for UK distributor Entertainment Film Distributors,which released the film first in the world on October 1 and watched superbword-of-mouth bolster the film.
The UK witnessed a paltry 16% week-on-week drop-off in both its second and third weekends and grossed $11.9m (£6.85m) in total.
Saw II has only been on release for less than three weeks in the US and UK and has already far surpassed the original's domestic total with $74.4m.
The UK is close with $11.3m (£6.5m) and will surpass Saw's tally thisweekend.
Onlyseven international territories, including the UK, have released the film todate for a combined $15.9m international gross that already puts worldwidenumbers for Saw II at $90.3m.
Saw grossed $102.9m worldwidein total. The massive success of the sequel leaves no surprise at the quick announcement of a third entry in the franchise.
The plot of the secondfilm set up a potentially endless franchise opportunity.
The confirmation of Saw III came from producer Gregg Hoffman speaking on a message board for the franchise's website www.houseofjigsaw.com
(Jigsaw is the moniker of the serial killer featured in the first two
films, played by Tobin Bell).
Hoffman confirmed there would be a Saw III on the site and thanked fans fortheir support of the second film.
Nocast members or director are currently confirmed, although the set up of thecurrent film suggests the participation of actress Shawnee Smith may beanticipated.