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|
|3||Scary Movie 3||$48,113,770||44%||$110,003,217||10/24/03|
|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|
|11||Where the Wild Things Are||$32,695,407||42%||$77,233,467||10/16/09|
|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.
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