Update #2 (Weekend Results): Studio estimates have just been released for the weekend ending Sunday, October 21th, and it looks like Paranormal Activity 4 underperformed to say the least. Early feedback suggests that audience disdain for the franchise has finally caught up with receipts as moviegoers voted hard against the movie’s quality, validating critics once more as the latest PA movie only opened to $30.2 million. The question will now shift to why this never hurt the series in the past although further analysis might only be had when the next installments come out. This movie still cost a mere $5 million to make, suggesting it will likely spawn even more followups in the years that follow.
Our second story comes with the retentive performance of Argo with $16.6 million, barely down from its $19.5 million take one week ago. Since this movie is not exactly ‘for families,’ there likely will fail to be an argument for fall break like there is for the next movie on our radar: Here Comes the Boom. The Kevin James-led MMA comedy only lost about a quarter of all receipts from its already horrid first weekend. Now with $8.5 million and in the back five, it is still pretty soft, but many were expecting the flick to evaporate very quickly from the charts.
The rest of the field was predictable with Taken 2 ($13.4 mil,) Hotel Transylvania ($13.5 mil,) and Alex Cross ($11.8 mil) rounding out the top five. Sinister only lost 51% with $9.0 million whereas the studios assumed something near 60% territory. They obviously thought a $40+ million PA blitz would hurt this well-received horror film, but things clearly were up for adjustment when the big boy did not bring his best.
Update #1 (Friday Results): It certainly looks like someone is stealing the show this weekend. While Paranormal Activity 4 is certain to be number one for the weekend with $30+ million off a $15 million Friday, second place Argo can be described as pretty remarkable. The Ben Affleck-directed awards contender is only down 14% ($5.1 million) on its sophomore Friday, leading some to believe a $18 million three-day haul is in the cards. Such retention figures are somewhat unheard of when talking about wide releases.
Alex Cross and Taken 2 are duking it out for fourth this weekend with $4.0 million and $4.3 million Fridays respectfully while Hotel Transylvania easily stayed strong with $3.6 million on the day. The movie’s family friendly content should provide a heftier Saturday, Sunday performance thus a $15.5 million estimate at the moment.
Another big holder of note was Here Comes The Boom with a 28% decline in business on its second Friday ($2.6 million.) Studio projections currently peg the film at $8.5 million for the three-day. This is definitely a cherry on top of the box office cake as it appears the movie business is thriving as Hollywood eyes a potentially record-breaking November.
Original 10/19: And the flood gates are now open for box office data surrounding the inevitable hit Paranormal Activity 4. The horror flick from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman banked $5 million in midnight showings, down $8 million from one year ago. The difference appears to be setting the film on a course to shrink from last October which has analysts already scrambling to adjust their weekend estimates.
While early, this first figure says a lot about whether audiences are still buying into the found-footage franchise and ultimately suggests a $40 million opening three-day gross as opposed to its direct predecessor’s $50 million debut. Paranormal Activity 4 is the latest edition of a series that has already banked close to $600 million worldwide in its first three years of existence. Each installment costs peanuts to make, so the downgrade on the series will definitely not detour future efforts in the franchise from going forward.
It is worth mentioning there was more competition and saturation in the genre compared to previous years leading up to a Paranormal Activity release. We are coming off a weekend where Sinister banked close to $20 million and its remnants might have an effect here. Non-genre competition in Alex Cross, Argo, Taken 2, and Hotel Transylvania should barely play a factor.