With the East Coast bracing for a major storm the box office slowed down significantly on Friday, which allowed crowd-pleasing holdover Argo to take first place ahead of weak newcomers Silent Hill: Revelation 3D and Cloud Atlas.
Ben Affleck's Iranian hostage crisis thriller dipped 22 percent to an estimated $3.96 million, which brings its total to $52.4 million through 15 days. After settling for second place in its first two weekends, Argo should finish a top the box office this weekend with around $13 million.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D debuted to an estimated $3.5 million from 2,933 locations yesterday. That's less than half of its 2006 predecessor's $8.1 million opening, and for the weekend it's likely going to earn less than $10 million total.
In third place, Cloud Atlas grossed an estimated $3.46 million at 2,008 venues. That's more than The Fountain made through its first three days, but it's still a disappointment for a big-budget movie with so much box office pedigree. It should earn north of $10 million for the weekend (it will hold better than Silent Hill), but based on the unique nature of the movie it's hard to say exactly how much it will wind up with.
Paranormal Activity 4 plummeted 79 percent to an estimated $3.14 million. That's actually worse than Paranormal Activity 3's 76 percent drop, making this a new low for the franchise. Through eight days, the fourth chapter in the perennial horror series has earned $37.1 million, and it's now guaranteed to be the lowest-grossing entry by a wide margin.
Taken 2 rounded out the Top Five with an estimated $2.56 million, which is a 40 percent decline from last Friday. The action sequel has now earned $112 million, and continues to outpace its predecessor by over $24 million (though that gap is closing quickly).
In eighth place, Alex Cross fell 58 percent to an estimated $1.69 million. That's about on par for Tyler Perry movies, but is a poor pace for a crime thriller that received an "A" CinemaScore. The movie's eight-day total is $16 million, and it will be lucky to close with over $30 million by the end of its run.
Paramount and Nickelodeon's Halloween comedy Fun Size bombed hard with just $1.33 million on Friday. That's worse than I Love You Beth Cooper ($2.1 million) and just slightly higher than Take Me Home Tonight ($1.25 million), both of which are notorious high school comedy debacles. Fun Size could earn around $4 million for the weekend, and will disappear quickly after that.
Somehow, Fun Size wasn't the worst new movie on Friday: that honor belonged to surfing flick Chasing Mavericks, which opened to an atrocious $825,000 at 2,002 theaters. That's one of the worst debuts of the year, and is even lower than distributor 20th Century Fox's September disaster Won't Back Down ($917,768). The movie should make around $2.5 million through Sunday.