Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Bill's Box Office Report - Paranormal Activity Continues to Roll, Saw VI Flatlines

Before "Saw VI" came to theaters there were already four sequels to the franchise starter, which by many accounts was considered fresh, a new twist on an old genre.  Then came the sequels as predictable as any film series ever, each of the first four sequels grossed between $30 and $33 million in their opening weekends.  The sixth installment, however, has grossed half of that ($14.1 million), which is still good enough for second place for the weekend.

The film that stole most of Saw's thunder (and possibly half of its gross) this weekend was "Paranormal Activity," the haunted-horror film that has been taking America by storm.  After two weeks of being in the top five and multiple weeks being a PTA juggernaut, the film gained 7.6% this weekend ($21.1 million) in 1,185 more theaters than last week.  That is good enough to scare up first place for the weekend.

Other wide openers did just as bad as Saw VI did considering expectations.  The Japanamerican animated film Astro Boy starring Nicholas Cage ("Knowing") was expecting a eight figure opening and crash landed to a sixth place $6.7 million opening.  The vampire (drama? adventure? comedy? who knows?) film "Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" starring John C. Reilly ("Walk Hard") sucked (and I'm using that word loosely) up only $6.2 million opening.  Possible Oscar contender "Amelia" starring two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank ("Million Dollar Baby") who plays the namesake flew under the radar with less than $4 million in only 820 theaters (why?  That's another story.).

Last week's winner, puppet-adventure "Where the Wild Things Are" faired just as well as this weekend's openers taming down a bit this week with a 57% drop to place third with $14 million.
On the PTA front, "Paranormal Activity's" slightly higher weekend and much higher theater count dropped it to third place with $10,000 per theater.  Second was Oscar bait holdover "An Education" which by some estimations may receive more than a couple major nominations.  It passed with $11,851 per theater, just $49 less than this weekend's winner, horror-drama "Antichrist" who's plot is so nuts I'm not even going to go into details...  Ok, it involves a couple having sex while their child falls out of a window.  I told you it sounds nuts, but more money was spend on it per theater than any other film in the country.

Until next time.

Box Office Top 10 for October 23-25

1 Paranormal Activity $21,104,070   ($61,580,588 overall)
2 Saw VI $14,118,444   ($14,118,444 overall)
3 Where the Wild Things Are $14,019,406   ($53,558,981 overall)
4 Law Abiding Citizen $12,403,888   ($40,008,703 overall)
5 Couples Retreat $10,620,685   ($77,736,885 overall)
6 Astro Boy Sum. $6,702,923   ($6,702,923 overall)
7 Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant $6,293,205   ($6,293,205 overall)
8 The Stepfather (2009) $6,230,969   ($20,082,652 overall)
9 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $5,250,541   ($114,854,877 overall)
10 Zombieland $4,205,812   ($67,213,384 overall)

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