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Saw Still Seen But Paranormal More Active

October 27th, 2009

We had three wide releases this weekend, and not one of them matched expectations. Additionally, last week's number one film fell dramatically at the box office. This led to an equally dramatic decline at the box office with overall ticket sales at just $116 million. This is 16% lower than last weekend, but more importantly 13% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2009 still has a 7.6% lead over 2008 at $8.43 billion to $7.84 billion, which is a lead that might be insurmountable at this point.

Paranormal Activity is still growing at the box office as it climbed 7.6% to $21.10 million, which was enough to climb into first place during its fifth week of release. This is normally a very rare feat, but it is something Gran Torino did earlier in the year. As for this film's overall box office potential, it now has $61.58 million, and could do even better next weekend thanks to Halloween, which makes $100 million likely and that would make it the least expensive movie to ever reach that milestone.

On the one hand, Saw VI made more during its opening weekend than it likely cost to make, which should please the studio. On the other hand, it made less than half the average the previous installments in the Saw opened with earning just $14.12 million. Its reviews were not bad, but its abysmal internal multiplier of 2.03 is likely a bigger portent. It might not make that much during the rest of its run, even with Halloween coming up next weekend. This will likely still be enough to show a profit and perhaps get the planned seventh film into theaters, but I think after that the franchise should be retired.

Where the Wild Things Are had a fanboy like 57% drop-off to just $14.02 million over the weekend and $53.56 million after two. This is not a terrible result after 10 days of release, but it virtually kills any chance of hitting $100 million, which is bad news, as that's how much the film cost to make. Good reviews could help it on the home market, on the other hand, and it could eventually break even.

Law Abiding Citizen showed surprising strength during its second weekend of release down just 41% to $12.40 million over the past three days for a total of $40.01 million after ten. This is already more than original expectations and it is closing in on the production budget. Both factors should please the studio, although the latter is certainly more important.

Couples Retreat was a surprise entry in the top five with $10.62 million over the weekend for a total of $77.74 million after three. At this pace, $100 million is quite possible, but it could be close.

Astro Boy missed the top five with just $6.70 million in more than 3000 theaters. It did have the best reviews of any of the three wide releases of the weekend, but at just 48% positive, it's hard to be too impressed. It looks like it is going down as another miss for Summit, which has only had one major hit during its entire history, as well as a few midlevel hits.

The Vampire's Assistant was just behind with $6.29 million. This is weak compared to Thursday's prediction, original expectations, and especially compared to its production budget. The reviews are weak and there's little hope for the film going forward.

Just missing the top ten was Amelia with $3.90 million in 820 screens. The reviews were terrible, especially for a film with some Oscar buzz coming in. Let's be blunt, 16% positive is terrible for any film. It's beyond atrocious for a film with Oscar buzz going in. At this point, there's little hope it will expand and it will likely vaporize from theaters rather quickly.

The Stepfather was the only sophomore class film to not reach in the top five has it fell to eighth place with $6.23 million over the weekend for a total of $20.08 million after two. This is a little weaker than original expectations, but close to its estimated production budget.


Filed under: Where the Wild Things Are, The Stepfather, Couples Retreat, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, Saw VI, Paranormal Activity, Law Abiding Citizen, Astro Boy, Amelia