Stock has been forming a pennant for the last few weeks. Is this the catalyst to drive it higher? SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SAW III, the third entry in Lionsgate and Twisted Picture's mercilessly terrifying horror franchise, made bloody hay with Lionsgate box office records to open at #1 this weekend, grossing an estimated $34.3 million in 3,167 theatres, or $10,830 per theatre. SAW III is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (SAW II), from a story by franchise originators Leigh Whannell and James Wan (SAW, SAW II) and screenplay by Whannell. The Twisted Pictures team of Mark Burg and Oren Koules returned for a third round as producers with Whannell and Wan as executive producers. The announcement was made jointly by Lionsgate President of Theatrical Films Tom Ortenberg and Twisted Pictures' Burg and Koules. Lionsgate is the leading independent filmed entertainment studio. The numbers for SAW III gave Lionsgate its highest-grossing weekend in history, besting the previous record of $31.7 million set by SAW II, an increase of 7.2%. SAW III also achieved the biggest-grossing single day in Lionsgate history, racking up $14.4 million on Friday to displace the previous record of $12.4 million held by Tyler Perry's MADEA'S FAMILY REUNION. The film's opening in 3,167 theatres also marked the widest release in the company's history. The SAW franchise stands as one the most successful horror series in film history. SAW III also slashed its way into the records books in the U.K., where it opened at #1 with $4.9 million, the first #1 opening for the SAW franchise in the U.K. It was the widest U.K. release in the history of Lionsgate UK, formerly known as Redbus, and the biggest weekend for the SAW franchise ever in the U.K.