Weekend Report: 'Paranormal' Possesses Fall Record

by Ray Subers
Paranormal Activity 3

October 23, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3 proved there's definitely still a lot of life left in the franchise by opening to $52.6 million this weekend. Besides marking a significant improvement over Paranormal Activity 2's $40.7 million, it also topped last year's Jackass 3-D to claim a new record for highest Fall opening ever (September and October). Unfortunately, The Three Musketeers, Johnny English Reborn and The Mighty Macs all missed modest targets, and as a result the weekend fell a bit short of the same frame last year.

Aside from setting the Fall record, Paranormal Activity 3 also bested its predecessor to take the top opening ever for a pure horror movie. For a slightly less impressive metric, the horror three-quel's earnings were incredibly front-loaded: its Friday box office represented 50 percent of its opening weekend gross, which ranks sixth all-time and slightly worse than Paranormal Activity 2's 49.4 percent. Distributor Paramount Pictures reports that the audience was 54 percent female and 53 percent under 25 years old (down from Paranormal Activity 2's 60 percent). A CinemaScore is not currently available.

After leading for the past two weekends, Real Steel eased just 34 percent to $10.8 million. That brings the robot boxing movie's 17-day total to a respectable $66.7 million.

Footloose took the third spot and dipped a light 34 percent to $10.4 million. That's an excellent hold for a movie targeted at teenage audiences, and it's a notable improvement over nearly all comparable titles including the entire Step Up series, Stomp the Yard, and Save the Last Dance. Through 10 days in theaters, the remake has earned $30.4 million.

The Three Musketeers debuted in fourth place with $8.7 million. That's off from Fall adventure movies like The Legend of Zorro ($16.3 million) and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow ($15.6 million), and it was even a bit behind 2001's The Musketeer ($10.3 million). The movie was presented in 3D at over 2,400 locations, and screenings in the format accounted for roughly 55 percent of the weekend gross. A Summit spokesperson reported that the audience was split evenly between men and women, and was 64 percent over the age of 25. The Three Musketeers earned an okay "B" CinemaScore.

The Ides of March rounded out the Top Five by declining just 32 percent to $4.9 million. Its total of $29.1 million is slightly ahead of George Clooney's Michael Clayton ($28.7 million) through the same point.

Dolphin Tale had another strong hold, easing 32 percent to $4.2 million for a total of $64.4 million. Moneyball was even more impressive. The Brad Pitt baseball drama yielded 27 percent to $3.98 million for a total of $63.6 million.

The love that overseas audiences are showing Johnny English Reborn ($104.5 million and counting) didn't translate domestically this weekend. The spy spoof sequel debuted to just $3.8 million, which is less than half of the original's $9.1 million start. The audience was 57 percent male and 35 percent parents with children 12 years old and younger.

Much further down the chart, religious basketball drama The Mighty Macs opened to just $963,221 million at 975 locations. That's lower than Seven Days in Utopia's opening last month at just 561 theaters.

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Last Weekend
Remakes Can't Retire 'Real Steel'

This Timeframe in Past Years:
2010 - 'Paranormal Activity 2' Spikes to Horror High
2009 - 'Paranormal' Rages, 'Saw' Dulls
2007 - '30 Days of Night' Leads Listless Crowd
2006 - 'Prestige' Rises to the Top, 'Flags' Lags
2005 - 'Doom' and Gloom

Related Chart
Weekend Box Office Results
All-Time Domestic
All-Time - Fall Opening Weekends
All-Time - October Opening Weekends
Genres - Supernatural Horror Opening Weekends
Genres - Found Footage Opening Weekends
All-Time - R-Rated Opening Weekends
All-Time - Friday Share of the Opening Weekend
All-Time - Biggest Friday to Saturday Drops

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