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Weekend Wrap-Up: Paranormal Inactivity

October 22nd, 2012

As everyone was expecting, Paranormal Activity 4 led the way on the box office chart this past weekend; however, it did so with much weaker than expected numbers. The other new release, Alex Cross, also missed expectations. On the other hand, the holdovers held on a lot better than expected. The overall box office was still weaker than last weekend, but only by 0.9%. We can call that a tie. Compared to last year, the overall box office rose by 6%. That's not a huge amount, but considering this weekend last year saw Paranormal Activity 3 break the record for biggest October opening, a victory by any margin is worth celebrating. Year-to-date, 2012 is maintaining its lead over 2011. 2012 currently has a 3.9% advantage over 2011's pace at $8.59 billion to $8.26 billion. Since 2011 didn't have a strong winter run, 2012 should be able to maintain, if not expand, its lead.

Before the weekend, the prediction column mentioned a worst case scenario for Paranormal Activity 4 of $30 million. Over the weekend, it opened with $29.00 million. ... So it's a disaster, right? After all, it opened with less than the worst case scenario. Not quite. The film only cost $5 million to make and it likely costs under $25 million to advertise, so the film's combined budget is less than its opening weekend box office. That makes it a financial success. It's no wonder Paranormal Activity 5 has already been given the greenlight. However, given this film's internal multiplier and its reviews, it's probably best if the studio wraps up the franchise sooner rather than later, as it is bound to crash and burn, at least on the domestic front.

Argo remained in second place with $16.45 million over the weekend for a total of $43.01 million after two weeks of release. Its sophomore stint drop-off was a mere 15% and that's better than the best case scenario. Even given its reviews and its target demographic, this was a fantastic hold. It certainly increases its chances at $100 million, while it should last long enough in theaters to build up more Awards Season buzz.

With the number one film missing expectations, Taken 2 had a little more breathing room and it earned $13.26 million over the weekend for a total of $105.83 million after three weeks of release. It became the 20th film of 2012 to reach the century mark.

Hotel Transylvania was right behind with $13.00 million over the weekend, while the film has $118.52 million so far. At this pace, the film could reach $150 million in total, which is enough to ensure a profit and encourage the studio to start seriously thinking about a sequel.

Alex Cross failed to make much of an impact at the box office with $11.40 million. The reviews were atrocious with just about every aspect of the film savaged by critics. Tyler Perry arguably came off the best, as the most common description of his performance was, "miscast". Matthew Fox was not treated as kindly by the critics, but the most vicious attacks were levied at the script and the directing. If the studio was hoping to make a franchise out of this character, it's not going to happen now.

It was a busy week on the sophomore class with four films missing the top five. Sinister came the closest down 51% to $8.81 million over the weekend for a total of $31.74 million after two. This is pretty good, given the genre and the direct competition. Here Comes the Boom held on even better down just 29% to $8.41 million, but it started slower so its running tally is just $23.13 million. Its per theater average is low enough that it will quickly start losing theaters. Likewise, Seven Psychopaths held on really, really well down just 22%, but it still fell out of the top ten with just $3.27 million. Its running tally is just $9.16 million, which is disappointing, but hopefully it will do better on the home market. On the other hand, Atlas Shrugged: Part II utterly collapsed with just $614,000 over the weekend for a total of $2.86 million after two. Had it opened with that much, it would have been disappointing.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Hotel Transylvania, Here Comes the Boom, Taken 2, Argo, Sinister, Paranormal Activity 4, Alex Cross, Seven Psychopaths, Atlas Shrugged: Part II, Matthew Fox, Tyler Perry