'Jeepers Creepers' To Battle Freddy And Jason At The Box Office

Jeepers Creepersto Battle Freddy

Look out Freddy and Jason — another movie maniac has entered the fray. The 'Creeper' from the surprise horror hit 'Jeepers Creepers' returns to theaters in 'Jeepers Creepers 2,' the only new picture brave enough to go into wide release this week against 'Freddy Vs. Jason.'

The long-awaited horror icon match-up has ruled the box office since it was released two weeks ago, fending off newcomers like 'Marci X,' 'My Boss's Daughter' and 'The Medallion' last weekend with ease (see 'Lisa Kudrow's 'Marci X' Bombs Worse Than J. Lo's 'Gigli' ' ). 'Jeepers Creepers 2' hopes to build on the success of the 2001 original, which was reportedly made for just million and went on to earn nearly million, and give Freddy and Jason a run for their money.

Like the first film, 'Creepers 2' was written and directed by Victor Salva, the controversial filmmaker behind the 1995 film 'Powder.' ( Click to see 'Jeepers Creepers 2' photos. ) The story picks up just a few days after the original's events, which followed a pair of teens who were terrorized by a winged, human-eating creature with an affinity for the tune made famous by Louis Armstrong and later poached by Siouxsie and the Banshees (in the song 'Peek-a-Boo') on the group's Peep Show album.

As the movie's mythology goes, the Creeper emerges in the spring every 23 years, for as many days, to feast and collect bodies, parts of which he uses to build grotesque tapestries and strange weapons and to regenerate his own appendages. 'Jeepers Creepers 2' begins during the 22nd day of his latest appearance as he terrorizes a farmer and his family as well as a school bus full of high-school athletes.

The movie stars Josh Hammond ('Black Cadillac'), Nicki Lynn Aycox (TV's 'Providence'), Eric Nenninger ('Malcolm in the Middle') and Ray Wise ('Powder'), with Jonathan Breck reprising his role as the Creeper.

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Though 'Jeepers Creepers 2' is the only major new film going into wide release, there are a handful of smaller movies opening in select cities, including a documentary on amateur wrestling appropriately titled 'The Backyard' and a film called 'Civil Brand.'

'Civil Brand' is a drama about a group of female inmates who become fed up with the way the prison-industrial complex exploits their labor. The cast includes rappers MC Lyte, Da Brat and Mos Def (see 'Mos Def's New Album Not Due Anytime Soon' ), whom 'Friday' and 'Set It Off' director F. Gary Gray recently called the next big rapper-turned-actor (see 'Director F. Gary Gray Wraps Up 'Italian Job,' Sings Mos Def's Praises' ).

And speaking of lower profile movies, the buzz-building independent drama 'Thirteen' (which opened in New York and Los Angeles last week and will soon go into wider release) and real-life comic book tale 'American Splendor' (see ' 'American Splendor' Like A Diamond On A Dunghill, By Kurt Loder' ) continue to draw in new audiences, while proven hits like 'S.W.A.T.' and 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' sit comfortably in the top 10.