Latest Tweets!
Box Office

Weekend Box Office Actuals - PARANORMAL ACTIVITY cuts SAW VI in half and AMELIA tanks

Everyone posts studio estimates for the weekend on Sundays, but I like to see the actual numbers. These come every Monday afternoon. This week, "The Vampire Assistant" actually placed one slot higher in the actuals than "The Stepfather" and both "Saw" and "Paranormal Activity" did made less than their estimates.

The final numbers are out and "Paranormal Activity" is set to be this year's biggest horror movie, rising for it's fifth straight week to top the box office charts. Paramount has masterfully crafted its roll-out starting it in only 12 theaters in late September and increasing to 1,945 this weekend. More interesting, it faced reigning Halloween box office champion "Saw VI" this weekend and cut its rival's usual opening numbers in half. The final box office numbers (not estimates) were just released and are below.

  Movie Weekend #s Total
1 Paranormal Activity $21,104,070 $61,580,588
2 Saw VI $14,118,444 $14,118,444
3 Where the Wild Things Are $14,019,406 $53,558,981
4 Law Abiding Citizen $12,403,888 $40,008,703
5 Couples Retreat $10,620,685 $77,736,885
6 Astro Boy $6,702,923 $6,702,923
7 The Vampire's Assistant $6,293,205 $6,293,205
8 The Stepfather $6,230,969 $20,082,652
9 Cloudy w/a Chance of Meatballs $5,250,541 $114,854,877
10 Zombieland $4,205,812 $67,213,384

How "Paranormal Activity" bested "Saw" after the jump.

Every recent "Saw" film after the original has made more than $30 million in its opening weekend (seen here). "Saw VI" opened with $14.1 million, less than the $21.1 million "Paranormal Activity" pulled in, even though it was in a thousand more theaters. It's per-theater average of $4,650 is much lower than the $9,822 "Saw V" brought in. "Paranormal" had a per-theater average of $10,850. 

So how did this happen? Well, the "Saw" franchise is getting tired, and so are its fans. You know what to expect by this point, and the sixth installment does nothing to change the formula. The entire horror genre has been stuck in a rut for years now. Nothing feels fresh. Enter "Paranormal Activity." The film is fresh and new, more grounded in reality, and has a clever marketing vehicle behind it. Paramount spent about $10 million advertising it, while director Orin Peli spear-headed a "demand this movie" internet campaign, mobilizing fans of the 2007 film. 

Almost everything that didn't have "Paranormal Activity" in the title bombed this weekend. "Astro Boy" launched with about $6.7 million in receipts, while "Amelia" (I hated it) and "The Vampire's Assistant" came in even less than that. All were well below optimistic studio estimates and failed to crack the top five. "Amelia" didn't even make the top ten with $3.9 million (11), though it premiered in only 820theaters. 

The upcoming weekend may end up repeating this one. "This is It," the Michael Jackson film detailing the last days of his life, is the only major release this week, opening in a massive 3,400 theaters. With all the Jackson hype, it will probably do well. We'll see. 

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>