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Weekend Estimates: Couples Retreat, Paranormal Activity Star

October 11th, 2009

The Columbus Day holiday weekend produced two big winners, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. At the top of the chart, Couples Retreat exceeded expectations with $35.3 million. A per theater average of nearly $12,000 for the poorly-reviewed comedy is a testament to Universal's marketing campaign and the box office power of its ensemble cast. A great marketing campaign from Paramount can also be attributed to the success of the weekend's other big success: Paranormal Activity, which jumped into the top 5 with an estimated $7.066 million in just 159 theaters. That's the smallest number of theaters for a movie to hit the top five ever, beating the performance of Platoon, which hit 4th place the weekend of January 16, 1987 playing in 174 theaters.

With Couples Retreat the only wide opener, the rest of the top ten had a familiar look to it. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs had the best hold, down just 24% in its fourth weekend in release. Zombieland had a good hold, with a 39% drop in its second weekend. In fact 39% declines were the rule across the board: the Toy Story 3D Double Feature, Whip It and Capitalism: A Love Story all declined by that much from their openings.

In limited release, Good Hair made an impressive debut for Roadside Attractions with $1.05 million in 186 theaters (a $5,600 per theater average), A Serious Man was excellent for Focus with $450,000 in 21 theaters and an average over $20,000. But the second-biggest limited release, after Paranormal Activity, was An Education, which pulled in a massive $40,595 per theater average, earning an estimated $162,381 from just four theaters. Look for a big expansion over the next few weeks.

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Capitalism: A Love Story, Zombieland, An Education, Couples Retreat, Paranormal Activity, Good Hair, Whip It, A Serious Man