Friday Report: 'Paranormal 4' Trails Predecessors on Opening Day

by Ray Subers
Paranormal Activity 4

October 20, 2012

As expected, Paranormal Activity 4 debuted in first place at the box office on Friday, though its gross was significantly lower than the last two movies in the franchise. The other new opener Alex Cross wasn't all that impressive either, and it's on pace for the worst debut ever for a movie starring Tyler Perry. Overall, though, business was booming on Friday thanks to impressive holdover performances from Argo, Hotel Transylvania and more.

Paranormal Activity 4 earned an estimated $15 million on Friday. That includes $4.5 million from midnight and 9 p.m. Thursday shows, though Paramount is refusing to properly separate out those Thursday night grosses. Even including that boost, Paranormal Activity 4's debut was way off from the last movie's $26.3 million start, and even lower than Paranormal Activity 2's $20.1 million. For the weekend, Paramount is expecting $33.5 million, which is a huge decrease from the last movie's record-setting $52.6 million.

The Friday night audience was split evenly between men and women, and skewed a bit older (60 percent over the age of 25). They gave the movie a "C" CinemaScore, which is a bit lower than the last movie's "C+" score.

Leveraging fantastic word-of-mouth, Argo eased just 14 percent to an estimated $5.1 million on its second Friday. In comparison, Ben Affleck's The Town fell 40 percent at the same point. Argo has now earned $31.7 million, and will be over $40 million by the end of the weekend.

Taken 2
fell 40 percent to $4.25 million for a new total of $96.8 million. This action sequel is poised to pass $100 million today, becoming the second Fall 2012 movie to reach that mark after Hotel Transylvania.

In fourth place, Alex Cross debuted to an estimated $4.01 million from 2,539 locations. That's lower than Daddy's Little Girls ($4.58 million), which previously held the record for worst opening day for a movie Tyler Perry was associated with. Summit is expecting a three-day gross of $11.75 million, and hoping that a strong "A" CinemaScore will drive decent business over the next few weeks.

Hotel Transylvania rounded out the Top Five with an estimated $3.6 million, which is off a light 14 percent from last Friday (there were some kids out of school, which helps explain this phenomenal hold). The movie has now earned $109.1 million, and could reach $120 million on Sunday.

Sinister couldn't handle the direct competition from Paranormal Activity 4 and fell 60 percent to an estimated $2.98 million. The horror flick has so far grossed $25.9 million. Here Comes the Boom, on the other hand, dipped just 29 percent to $2.57 million for an eight-day total of $17.3 million.

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Forecast: 'Paranormal 4' Set to Extend Franchise's Winning Streak

Related Chart:
Grosses for Friday, October 19, 2012

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WEEKEND: Weekend Estimates, 'Coco' #1
DAILY: Friday Estimates, 'Coco' #1
DAILY: Thursday 12/7 (50 tracked)
WEEKLY: 'Coco' Tops the Week with $34.63m
DAILY: Wednesday, 12/6 (41 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 12/5 (42 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 12/4 (42 tracked)