Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Paranormal Activity 4 Scares Up Top Spot

Argo, Hotel Transylvania round out the top three.

by | October 21, 2012 | Comments

Just like its two predecessors, Paranormal Activity 4 opened at number one in its pre-Halloween launch but showed signs of audience erosion too. The weekend’s only other new wide release was the cop thriller Alex Cross starring Tyler Perry which did not impress and barely made the top five. Most holdovers enjoyed small declines as the overall marketplace remained healthy with the top ten films collecting over $100M in ticket sales for the fourth consecutive weekend.

Paramount took over the top spot with its horror sequel Paranormal Activity 4 which bowed to an estimated $30.2M including grosses from its first shows which started on Thursday night at 9pm. The R-rated franchise film debuted in 3,412 theaters including 286 IMAX venues and averaged a solid $8,851. The opening fell a steep 43% from the $52.6M of last year’s third part which broke the record for the biggest October debut. It was also down 26% from the $40.7M of Paranormal Activity 2 from the previous year. Fright franchises usually see fans disappear as they age, especially with a fourth chapter, so the new film was never expected to reach the heights of part 3. But it still shows that many fans who liked the home video scares of previous films did not find the new chapter worthy of seeing.

Studio research showed that the audience was split evenly between males and females while 60% were under 25. The CinemaScore grade was a C which was slightly worse than the C+ of its predecessor. For Paramount, Paranormal Activity 4 represented the studio’s first live-action film to open at number one since the horror pic The Devil Inside from the first weekend of this year.

Overseas results were better with some markets showing growth over previous installments. The new film grossed $26.5M from international markets this weekend making for a global debut of $56.7M led by the U.K., Russia, and Australia. With a low $5M production cost, the latest Activity will once again become a very profitable project despite the loss of interest from consumers. It would not be surprising to see more chapters.

Oscar hopeful Argo enjoyed a terrific hold in its second weekend dropping only 15% to an estimated $16.6M putting the Ben Affleck film at $43.2M after ten days. Warner Bros. may just go on to break the $100M mark if it continues to see legs like these. With glowing reviews, incredibly high exit scores from audiences, no new direct competition, an older-skewing audience, and plenty of Oscar talk, Argo managed to hold up remarkably well and will try to keep staying relevant in the weeks ahead.

The 3D toon Hotel Transylvania followed with an estimated $13.5M for a slim 22% decline and $119M total for Sony. Liam Neeson’s hit sequel Taken 2 joined the century club this weekend after grossing an estimated $13.4M in its third round, down 39%, for a $106M cume for Fox. It’s already the studio’s second highest-grossing live-action film of the year after Prometheus.

Anchoring his first film not based on his own material, Tyler Perry generated a lackluster debut for his detective thriller Alex Cross with an estimated $11.8M. The PG-13 film averaged a moderate $4,628 from 2,539 locations and failed to beat out the openings of the previous two films based on the same character which were released many years ago when ticket prices were much less. 1997’s Kiss the Girls bowed to $13.2M while 2001’s Along Came a Spider debuted to $16.7M. Both starred Morgan Freeman in the main role. Comparing admissions, Cross brought out roughly half as many people on opening weekend as Girls did.

Studio research showed that the Summit film played much like a Tyler Perry film. 60% of the audience was female, 68% was over 35, and 74% was African American. The CinemaScore grade was an encouraging A. But only a portion of his loyal audience came out as almost all of Perry’s previous films have opened bigger, and in fewer theaters.

The horror film Sinister fared well despite the arrival of the latest chapter from today’s most popular fright franchise. The Summit pic fell 50% to an estimated $9M for a solid $32M in ten days. Kevin James took seventh place with his latest offering, the PG-rated comedy Here Comes the Boom, which dropped 28% to an estimated $8.5M. Sony has collected a disappointing $23.2M after ten days. Universal’s a cappella comedy Pitch Perfect was next with an estimated $7M, down 25%, and a $45.8M sum.

Struggling to keep up, Disney’s Frankenweenie finished in ninth place with an estimated $4.4M falling by 37% to a total of only $28.3M. Rounding out the top ten was the sci-fi hit Looper with an estimated $4.2M in its fourth weekend. Sony has banked $57.8M to date.

The indie comedy The Sessions got off to a potent start platforming in New York and Los Angeles to an estimated $121,000 from only four sites for a sturdy $30,250 average. The sex surrogate pic starring Helen Hunt and William H. Macy scored sensational reviews across the board and is hoping to become a contender this winter during awards season. Fox Searchlight certainly got off to a great start and will expand on Friday to five additional markets including San Francisco, Toronto, and Chicago.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $118.6M which was up 13% from last year when Paranormal Activity 3 debuted at number one with $52.6M; and up a scant 1% from 2010 when Paranormal Activity 2 opened on top with $40.7M.

Follow Gitesh on Twitter.

Tag Cloud

finale Extras Crackle Star Trek cats 2017 First Reviews Freeform Polls and Games Awards south america cinemax Pride Month dragons blaxploitation YouTube Premium Grammys psychological thriller what to watch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Thanksgiving streaming LGBTQ romance CW Seed war Reality Competition Mary Tyler Moore psycho Ellie Kemper Fall TV Universal Mudbound Heroines USA Esquire Mindy Kaling zombies Sci-Fi justice league Sony Pictures Countdown Logo CMT breaking bad Elton John Star Wars First Look National Geographic Superheroe teaser Mystery serial killer Rom-Com anime golden globes PaleyFest OWN Election unscripted composers Shondaland 71st Emmy Awards The Witch award winner kids slashers Peacock discovery Brie Larson foreign adventure Amazon Prime Video Film Festival 21st Century Fox Netflix Dark Horse Comics Stephen King Binge Guide cooking WGN VH1 Vudu dramedy Musical Video Games vampires Sundance sequel transformers cars Interview TruTV Film television cancelled TV shows AMC video The CW Martial Arts Bravo series spinoff comiccon game of thrones Nat Geo FOX Action Year in Review casting sitcom Cosplay docudrama Emmy Nominations Cartoon Network ESPN zero dark thirty cancelled television Marathons NBC Writers Guild of America movies CBS Arrowverse social media DC Universe BET based on movie revenge WarnerMedia History Summer Marvel 2019 Food Network Rocky free movies doctor who The Walking Dead Epix Quiz theme song spanish language TNT Comics on TV See It Skip It A&E The Arrangement YA SXSW Paramount Network spider-man Walt Disney Pictures binge singing competition Classic Film tv talk Amazon Rocketman nature canceled Disney Channel Masterpiece 2018 canceled TV shows Podcast X-Men Disney zombie book Musicals elevated horror Schedule travel Kids & Family BBC America Tarantino Animation technology Apple Calendar cancelled Superheroes Anna Paquin hispanic spy thriller stand-up comedy hist Western Tumblr ABC Family cancelled TV series batman TCA Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Box Office science fiction Pet Sematary Warner Bros. TLC BBC Super Bowl 2015 CBS All Access MCU TV renewals miniseries space dc GIFs 45 mutant cults Mary Poppins Returns TV Land boxoffice YouTube Red TCA 2017 IFC Films jamie lee curtis DC Comics ratings Pirates Apple TV+ Red Carpet Trivia Spring TV period drama Pixar DGA Showtime Trophy Talk Chernobyl Certified Fresh Nominations Shudder Emmys Winners Fox News Comedy adaptation historical drama Toys romantic comedy Valentine's Day biography TCM Britbox Tomatazos sports Acorn TV Opinion festivals Drama Turner MSNBC Trailer anthology FXX Women's History Month Mary poppins ITV DirecTV FX Infographic APB joker comic Lionsgate El Rey Teen Reality TV Sundance Now harry potter 24 frames VICE Pop supernatural crime drama Comic Book Columbia Pictures GLAAD LGBT Photos Hulu crime thriller Watching Series Creative Arts Emmys PBS dceu mockumentary MTV Turner Classic Movies Spectrum Originals CNN Rock robots diversity ABC political drama Television Academy Lucasfilm natural history RT History Holidays cops NYCC USA Network latino 20th Century Fox strong female leads Captain marvel Biopics Horror medical drama Best and Worst Nickelodeon E3 TBS renewed TV shows crossover San Diego Comic-Con Cannes YouTube Ghostbusters Ovation Disney Plus Amazon Prime RT21 SundanceTV Awards Tour IFC HBO Max 007 ghosts quibi green book Lifetime game show New York Comic Con Fantasy SDCC spain politics Family Paramount Song of Ice and Fire crime Black Mirror Spike TIFF Oscars American Society of Cinematographers Disney streaming service Comedy Central police drama Premiere Dates GoT disaster halloween The Purge Set visit animated true crime witnail aliens Starz talk show 2016 Christmas Character Guide DC streaming service children's TV E! Sneak Peek HBO Syfy Winter TV Music Country toy story facebook President thriller Adult Swim richard e. Grant