At this rate folks, I'd expect a new Saw film for the next -- whaddya think -- 10 years or so? Saw III absolutely annihilated the competition this weekend, racking up an estimated $34.3 million for the franchise's biggest opening yet. Not only is this huge for Lionsgate, but it also ruins at least the next Halloween for everyone else, as Saw IV will most likely hit theaters this same time in 2007. Eventually, we'll get another Friday the 13th and Rob Zombie-directed Halloween sequel, but will they be enough to tackle Jigsaw and his wacky diabolical schemes?

As much as it doesn't seem possible, there were other movies playing around the country this weekend. The Departed managed to hang on, dropping only 27 percent in box office sales over the last week, taking home $9.8 million. Not far behind was The Prestige ($9.6 million) which took a bigger hit, dropping 38 percent from the previous weekend. With its $90 million budget, Flags of Our Fathers ($6.35 million) currently holds a 10-day total of $19.9 million, which means Eastwood and friends are praying Oscar and his pal Buzz help drag this flick out of the gutter. Open Season (man, will this pic ever go away?) finally forfeited the fourth spot, sliding into fifth with $6.1 million.

And what about those Dixie Chicks and their controversial documentary Shut Up and Sing? Well, that puppy made plenty of noise in only four theaters, taking in a healthy $50,798. In just seven theaters Babel ($365, 801) also brought home some hefty figures. However, Catch a Fire (which debuted in 1,306 theaters) crashed and burned without much of a fight, as it wound up with a measly $2 million.

Full numbers after the jump.