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Weekend Estimates: Paranormal Activity Continues Halloween Tradition

October 21st, 2012

After five years of Saw, and a hand-over period of a couple of years, the Paranormal Activity franchise has come to dominate the brief Halloween movie season. Showing that horror moviegoers may be more tradition-bound than any other category of film fans, Paranormal Activity 4 is set for a healthy opening this weekend, with Paramount projecting at total of $30.4 million by the end of the weekend. That's down quite a bit from the $50 million-plus debut of Paranormal Activity 3 last year, and the franchise does look like it is losing some momentum. With production budgets around $5 million, and relatively modest marketing costs, however, the studio will earn a healthy profit from this release and has, predictably, announced Paranormal Activity 5 will go into production early next year for release in October.

The rest of this week's chart looks unusually healthy for the returning movies, with Argo dropping just 15% in its second weekend to $16.6 million and four other movies in the top 12 (Hotel Transylvania, Here Comes the Boom, Pitch Perfect and Seven Psychopaths) declining less than 30%. The weekend's other debutant, Alex Cross, also posted decent numbers, with $11.75 million projected for the weekend, showing that Tyler Perry fans are a loyal bunch.

Meanwhile, in limited release, The Sessions has got the Oscar party started with an impressive $120,000 or so in its opening weekend in four theaters. Acting nominations for John Hawkes and Helen Hunt will surely follow, but for now the question of how far and wide the film will play remains unanswered. The next couple of weeks should give us a good idea.

Three other honorable mentions from the limited releases: Brooklyn Castle will average about $11,000 in two theaters for PDA and The Flat will average about $10,000 for IFC, also in two locations. Holy Motors will just miss out on a $10,000 average over the weekend, but opened on Wednesday, so is essentially running neck-and-neck with the other two for indie runner-up honors this weekend.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Here Comes the Boom, Argo, Paranormal Activity 4, Alex Cross, Seven Psychopaths, Pitch Perfect, The Flat, Holy Motors, Brooklyn Castle, John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, Tyler Perry