According to The Hollywood Reporter, DreamWorks' The Ring Two circled an estimated $36 million on its debut this weekend to nab the top spot at the boxoffice, a far cry from the $15 million opening of the first Ring film in 2002. But the original ended up with a nearly unheard of multiple of 8.6 -- the industry average being about 3 -- as it cruised to a final domestic tally of $129 million.

The PG-13-rated The Ring Two, starring Naomi Watts and David Dorfman and helmed by Hideo Nakata, who directed the original Japanese films Ringu and Ringu 2, fell shy of toppling the record for the biggest opening for a horror film. That record still safely belongs to Sony's The Grudge also a remake of a Japanese horror film, with $39.1 million. Depending on how the numbers shake out, The Ring Two will be the second- or third-biggest opening ever in March.

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Fox's CG-animated Ice Age is tops ($46.3 million), with Fox's Robots ($36 million) and The Ring Two vying for the second biggest.

Buena Vista's Ice Princess, starring Michelle Trachtenberg, was the only other wide release this weekend, with 2,501 playdates. The G-rated feature, aimed primarily at young female moviegoers and directed by Tim Fywell, didn't end up with the score that was hoped for as the romantic comedy/drama picked up a disappointing estimate of $7 million to place fourth.

Head of distribution, Jim Tharp, has attributed part of the film's strong opening to the marketing campaign: "The marketing made 'Ring Two' look more like a thriller-horror film as opposed to a straight horror film." In regards to the possibility of third picture, he said, "We've certainly been working on a 'The Ring Three' script, but there's been no final determination."

In an interview with IF Magazine, screenwriter Ehren Kruger talked about the future of the franchise as well...

"Well, we haven't explained everything, but the story is structurally self-contained. It has a proper ending. And if Rachel thought things were bad when she had seven days to live, this situation is worse" said Kruger. He wasn't sure either if he'd be involved - "There will be one if you want one, if you know what I mean - democracy in action. I don't know if I'd be involved. I suspect the story would be radically different from 1 or 2, but I suspect Samara would be in it."

CLICK HERE for the full interview.

Dont't forget to also check out: The Ring Two