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Weekend Wrap-up: Paranormal Wasn't Just Your Regular Hit

October 24th, 2011

The industry as a whole has to be breathing a small sigh of relief after the weekend numbers started to come in. Paranormal Activity 3 broke records over the weekend helping the overall box office along the way. It grew 38% compared to last weekend, hitting $121 million. Unfortunately, that was still 6% lower than the same weekend Last year. Year-to-date, 2011 is 4% behind 2010's pace at $8.38 billion to $8.73 million and there's little hope that deficit will go away by the end of the year.

Depending on how its P&A budget was, Paranormal Activity 3 may have already broken even domestically. During its opening weekend, it earned $52.57 million, breaking the record for biggest October weekend, while its opening day earned it top spot on the biggest October day list. Given its reviews, the lack of direct competition next weekend and the proximity to Halloween, the film could have better legs than a lot of horror films have and reaching $100 million should not be too difficult. I assume someone at Paramount is already looking for the right script for the fourth installment of the franchise.

Real Steel held on better than expected and that helped it earn second place with $10.82 million over the weekend and $66.73 million after three. While it likely won't get to $100 million domestically, it should reach that milestone internationally by this time next week and $200 million worldwide is a relatively easy goal at this point. It will still need a solid run on the home market to break-even, but the studio should be happy with its results so far.

Footloose was also stronger than expected during its second weekend of release with $10.35 million over the past three days for a total of $30.36 million after ten. It has now earned more domestically than it cost to make and should reach $50 million in total, more or less. As long as it can make money internationally, it too should recoup its costs, even if it takes till the home market to do so.

On the other hand, The Three Musketeers 3D could go down as one of the more expensive busts of the year. The film cost $90 million to make, but only pulled in $8.67 million during its opening weekend. Given its low per theater average and its terrible reviews there's little hope it will recover next weekend. It is earning more internationally, but I'm not sure it will earn enough to compensate for bombing domestically.

The Ides of March managed one more weekend in the top five with $4.85 million giving it a three-week total of $29.11 million. This is below original expectations, but more than it cost to make. Assuming the P&A budget wasn't too high and the film can turn excellent reviews into a major nomination or two, it should break even during its initial run on the home market.

Good news: Johnny English Reborn crossed $100 million internationally. Bad news: it bombed here. After a last minute release date change and a weak theater count, the film could manage no better than eighth place with $3.83 million. Given its reviews and its per theater average, it will likely be dropped by many theater owners as soon as they are contractually obligated. That said, the studio could still turn Johnny English into a trilogy based solely on the film's international run.

The Mighty Macs missed the top ten with just $963,000 in 975 theaters for an average of $988. The film's reviews were not great, but they were certainly better than this result. Its theater count could plummet on Friday and the film could be all but gone the weekend after that.

Looking in at the sophomore class, we find The Thing in ninth place with $3.07 million. That represents a 64% decline, while its running tally rose to just $14.05 million. This is more than the original made, but with nearly 30 years of inflation behind it, that's hardly a compliment. The Big Year didn't fall as fast down 48%, but its opening was also much weaker. Over the weekend it added $1.68 million for a two-week total of $6.00 million.

One last note for the week. It took 83 days, but Cowboys and Aliens finally reached the century mark becoming the 23rd film of the year to do so. The record is 32 films, which was reached 2009. There are potentially a dozen more films either in theaters or coming out before the end of the year that have a realistic shot at $100 million, so that record could fall. It could be really close, but at least it gives us something to look forward to in an otherwise disappointing year.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Footloose, Cowboys and Aliens, The Thing, The Three Musketeers, The Big Year, Real Steel, Johnny English Reborn, Paranormal Activity 3, The Ides of March, The Mighty Macs