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Weekend Estimates: Big Activity at the Box Office

October 23rd, 2011

After a poor September and slow start to October, Paranormal Activity 3 put some life back in to the movie industry this weekend with a huge $54 million opening weekend, according to Paramount's Sunday estimate. That's comfortably a record for the franchise and will almost certainly top Jackass 3D to become the biggest October's biggest weekend too. With no other horror flick coming out between now and Halloween, it should be set for a comfortable $100 million or so at the box office (on a budget of $5 million).

The rest of the wide release market looked much weaker. The Three Musketeers 3D could only manage $8.8 million for Summit, who stand accused of not doing enough to promote the movie. Johnny English Reborn will make around $3.8 million, which is less of a surprise, given that the spy spoof has a much bigger international following than it does Stateside. Finally, The Mighty Macs could muster only $1.06 million from 975 theaters, once more showing the challenge of getting families to come out to see family-friendly films.

Limited releases are having a better time of it this weekend. Or some of them are at least -- there were so many new releases this weekend that some inevitably got lost in the crowd. Margin Call, a drama about the unfolding of the financial crisis in 2008, did the best in absolute dollar terms with an impressive projected $582,400 opening in 56 theaters for Roadside Attractions. Martha Marcy May Marlene posted the best per theater average with $137,541 projected by Fox Searchlight in four theaters. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey also had a notable weekend, earning a projected $25,158 in a single New York theater. All three films will be expanding, and looking for awards buzz.

One notable returning limited release was The Skin I Live In, which will post a projected $261,154 according to Sony Classics, from a still-modest 21 theaters.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Three Musketeers, Johnny English Reborn, Margin Call, Paranormal Activity 3, La piel que habito, Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Mighty Macs, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey