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‘Paranormal Activity 3’ Scares Up Box Office Records

The
reaper commeth. As if the largest opening of the franchise wasn’t enough, Paranormal
Activity
3’s mammoth $54-million opening also shattered the record of another threequel (Jackass 3D) for the biggest October opening and biggest fall opening, not to mention it now lays claim to the largest horror movie opening — ever. And for the expected icing on the proverbial cake, the film can boast the biggest
found footage debut in what will no doubt now be a rabid genre. All other
openings either disappointed or tanked.

Vaulting
to a gross that beat the entire other nine films in the top ten combined, this
haunted house three-quel rode a wave of lackluster horror offerings,
surprisingly great reviews and an impending Halloween holiday. Bizarrely (and
even though there has been an onslaught leading up to now) no new fright flicks open
next weekend indicating that a decent hold could result (in terms of
the normal horror movie second weekend plummet, of course).

After
clutching hold of the highest midnight show opening for a horror feature with
$8 million, Friday saw a delirious $26.3-million gross, which matched the
entire opening weekend of the mega-budgeted Real
Steel
two weeks earlier. “PA3” on the other hand, made more than ten times
its budget this weekend, plus an additional $26 million from overseas markets
for an early total of $80 million. To
put things in perspective: the entire franchise carries a production budget of
a hair over $8 million but has grossed a bewildering $247 million worldwide.

Speaking
of Real
Steel
, Jackman & Co. held fast yet again with an $11.3 million
weekend, a $67.2 domestic tally and $153-million worldwide total. Again, with
no crowd-pleasing special effects romps to be seen, this inspiration robo-take
on the sports genre continues to find an audience.

 
The Top Ten

1. Paranormal
Activity 3 – $54.0M (weekend)… $54.0M (gross)

2. Real
Steel – $11.3M…$67.2M
3. Footloose
– $10.9M…$30.9M
4.The
Three Musketeers – $8.8M…$8.8M

5. The
Ides of March – $4.8M…$$29.2M
6. Dolphin
Tale – $4.2M…$64.4M
7. Moneyball
– $4.0M…$63.7M
8. Johnny
English Reborn – $3.8M…$3.8M

9. The
Thing – $3.1M…$14.1M
10. 50/50
– $2.5M…$28.8M

Also
showing it both has legs literally and figuratively, Footloose slipped only 30 percent to $10.9
million. This is a better hold than most dance films that tend to be
front-loaded because of their teen-centric audience, but good reviews mean that
this may ride a wave of good vibes late into the fall.

Underperforming
in fourth was Summit Entertainment’s The Three Musketeers. Despite continuing to do solid business overseas – it now has a worlwide tally of $73 million  – the lack of starpower, time-bending premise and fight for a shared demographic with Paranormal Activity 3 made it a hard sell in North America.

The Ides of March, Dolphin Tale and Moneyball
all saw declines in the low 30 percent range, which easily equated to a defeat over
Johnny
English Reborn
and its eighth place premiere and piddling $3.8 million
debut. There was simply no market for it on this side of the Pond, let
alone for a poorly-regarded sequel.

Quickly
recapping some films in the lower echelon of the list, The Mighty Macs was wimpy
with just $1.1 million whereas Oscar hopefuls Margin Call and Martha Marcy
May Marlene
both saw solid bows in limited release.

For
Halloween weekend, another three wide releases try to scare the cash out of
you, though none are of the fright variety. Puss
in Boots
, the “Shrek” spinoff scratches out a substantial 3,800 screens,
followed by the Justin Timberlake-led sci-fi thriller In Time in 3,000. Johnny Depp again goes whacko in The Rum Diary across 2,100 venues and
Rolland Emmerich’s Shakespeare drama Anonymous
appears to have been dumped in just 200 with a possible expansion in November.

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