erik lundegaard

Hollywood B.O.: “Paranormal Activity 3”? Really?

Yesterday, “Paranormal Activity 3” set the box office record for the biggest opening weekend in October with a $54 million haul. Did anyone see this coming? Here's Ray Stubers at Box Office Mojo last Friday:

[“Paranormal Activity 2”] wasn't as well received as the first installment, and horror movies generally haven't been performing over the last few months, so a slight decline for the third chapter in the series can be expected. At the same time, there was a slight uptick from “Saw II” to “Saw III,” so there is a chance “Paranormal Activity 3” exceeds its predecessor. Paramount is expecting a mid-$30 million opening followed by a better hold than “Paranormal Activity 2” ...

Of course, if you want to set a monthly box office record, October's not a bad month to do it in. Only January (“Cloverfield” at $40 million) and September (“Sweet Home Alabama” at $35 million) have lower opening-weekend records to break than October (previous: “Jackass 3-D” at $50 million).

Plus there's the company:

Rank Title Opening % of Total Total Gross Date
1 Paranormal Activity 3 $54,020,000 100% $54,020,000 10/21/11
2 Jackass 3-D $50,353,641 43% $117,229,692 10/15/10
3 Scary Movie 3 $48,113,770 44% $110,003,217 10/24/03
4 Shark Tale $47,604,606 30% $160,861,908 10/1/04
5 High School Musical 3 $42,030,184 46% $90,559,416 10/24/08
6 Paranormal Activity 2 $40,678,424 48% $84,752,907 10/22/10
7 The Grudge $39,128,715 36% $110,359,362 10/22/04
8 Red Dragon $36,540,945 39% $93,149,898 10/4/02
9 Couples Retreat $34,286,740 31% $109,204,945 10/9/09
10 Saw III $33,610,391 42% $80,238,724 10/27/06
11 Where the Wild Things Are $32,695,407 42% $77,233,467 10/16/09
12 Saw IV $31,756,764 50% $63,300,095 10/26/07
13 Saw II $31,725,652 36% $87,039,965 10/28/05
14 Saw V $30,053,954 53% $56,746,769 10/24/08
15 Beverly Hills Chihuahua $29,300,465 31% $94,514,402 10/3/08

“Where the Wild Things Are,” sure. “Red Dragon,” maybe. “Shark Tale,” meh. The rest is garbage. It's a film festival in hell. Do we all turn dumb in October or something?

“PA3”'s competition was also slight this weekend. “The Three Musketeers,” with its 0% top-critic rating (sample review: “Seriously: what the hell?” — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune), pulled in just $8.8 mil in more than 3,000 theaters, while “Johnny English Reborn,” with a 40% top-critic rating, eked out less than half that ($3.8 mil) in fewer than half the theaters. These two finished 4th and 8th, respectively.

Something called “The Mighty Macs,” a 2009 girls basketball movie starring Carla Gugino, and only now released, bombed, grossing about $1 million in almost 1,000 theaters. To give you an idea how bad that is: The movie I saw, “Margin Call” (89% top-critic rating, and recommended), played in 1/20 the theaters (56) but grossed 1/2 the money ($586,000).

Should “Margin Call” have been more widely distributed? I would argue yes, but most assume the masses aren't interested in its subject matter. The movie's about the beginning of the Global Financial Meltdown and people want to see scary stuff.

The paranormal numbers here.

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Posted at 07:28 AM on Mon. Oct 24, 2011 in category Movies - Box Office  


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