Box Office Weekend: Paranormal Activity 4 On Top, But Only Finds Ghosts of Its Former Success
For a movie costing only $5 million, a weekend estimate of $30.2 million would normally be a phenomenal thing…and to be fair, it still is…but for Paranormal Activity 4, that is a drop from the record-setting October release of the previous film, which did $52.3 million during the same weekend last year. Despite the lackluster reviews and diminished returns, the fourth film in the franchise stood above the rest, even though most of its competitors are holdovers from previous weeks. Argo, for instance, dropped very little revenue and had a very strong second week performance with an estimated $16.6 million, putting the film very near a net gain in what at first appeared to be an uphill battle to its $44.5 million budget. Hotel Transylvania also put in a good third week stint with an estimated $13.5 million, winning out over Taken 2, which kept a close gap with an estimated $13.4 million, though both films are guaranteed winners with over $100 million in domestic box office and more flowing in overseas, despite critics being less than enthralled with either film.
Tyler Perry stepped out of his Madea-sized production shadow to star in the title role of Alex Cross, the new film about author James Patterson’s long running thriller series, but the film is running into trouble with critics and with moviegoers. With only an estimated $11.7 million for its opening weekend, the $35 million production appears headed for trouble. Though Perry is no stranger to critical panning, his low-budget, often times stage-to-screen adaptations have been massively profitable, and his box office performance here could affect his chances of expanding into a larger market. Sinister, on the other hand, has taken its $3 million budget and run with it, an estimated $9 million this weekend tacking onto an impressive $32 million domestic take. Here Comes the Boom did not drop off as much as might be expected, but its estimated $8.5 million gives it a running domestic total of $23.2 million, and with a still unreported budget that may not be a good sign…considering Kevin James’ last few movies all cost in the $70-$80 million range (and the last live action one, Zookeeper, broke even domestically), to say the movie could be underperforming would be an understatement.
The bottom few do seem to make the point that a lower budget is better for returns this time of the year…Pitch Perfect made an estimated $7 million, making a domestic total of $45.8 million on a $17 million budget. Frankenweenie may have finally topped its $39 million budget, but only counting foreign gross as well…domestically, its estimated $4.4 million only has earned the critical favorite $28.3 million in stateside earnings. Looper finds itself somewhere in the middle, its $30 million budget not big enough to sink it, but its estimated $4.2 million weekend earnings and $57.8 million domestic totals making it, by percentages, less successful than Pitch Perfect.
Weekend Box Office (October 19th – October 21st)
- Paranormal Activity 4…$30.2 million
- Argo…$16.6 million
- Hotel Transylvania…$13.5 million
- Taken 2…$13.4 million
- Alex Cross…$11.7 million
- Sinister…$9 million
- Here Comes the Boom…$8.5 million
- Pitch Perfect…$7 million
- Frankenweenie…$4.4 million
- Looper…$4.2 million