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Paranormal Scares Up $54 Million

Paranormal Activity 3 haunts up $54 million record debut.

By Jarrod Sarafin     October 23, 2011


The Halloween festivities broke out early this year for Paramount Pictures. After years of having to compete with a deceased serial killer named Jigsaw, the horror field was open and the studio found their haunting threequel Paranormal Activity 3 dominating the box office. The third installment in the ghostly franchise opened out to an incredible lead on Friday by pulling in $26.2 million over its first day. With today’s estimates now in the bag the film has scared up $54.0 million across the nation, taking down the top opening launch of all-time for any horror release. It’s also the best October premiere ever, just ahead of previous record holder Jackass 3-D ($50.3 mil).
Produced by Jason Blum, Steven Schneider and the original’s director Oren Peli (see our interview here), the distribution team has taken a page out of the books which made Lionsgate’s Saw franchise such a safe bet in terms of budgets and profitability. The first film was produced for an incredible $15,000 before having a million inserted into post-production efforts and the second installment came in at a cool $3 million. With this third haunting tale having a cost of only $5 million, it says it all that Paramount Pictures had amount back by the Friday morning shows.
Paranormal Activity 3 also opened up with another $26 million from early oversea territories, increasing the 3-day premiere to $80 million. In a time where horror films are dropping like flies (see The Thing dropping 63% this weekend), Paramount Pictures and executive producer Oren Peli seem to know all the right moves on keeping their franchise alive and well.
The studio currently says there’s no fourth installment currently in development but we can expect to see that change if "people certainly continue to be very interested in the franchise."
Following in a very distant 2nd place is Walt Disney’s sci-fi tale, Real Steel. The Hugh Jackman robot boxing feature continues to remain strong and steady by grabbing up another $11.3 million over its third frame. That’s only a 30% drop off from its previous box office victory and has increased the domestic cume to $67.2 million. The tale is doing even better in its foreign markets at the moment with an international tally of $86.1 million. When combined together, the Shawn Levy release has a global score of $153.3 million. The budget is around $110 million.
Paramount Pictures has also hit the profit lines with another of their October releases this weekend, with the Footloose remake dancing up another $10.8 million on 3,555 venues across the states. The latest numbers has increased their domestic gross to $30.8 million after 10 days of release, well ahead of the $24 million they spent in production costs. The studio has earned another $6.0 million from early foreign showings so their global cume is at $36.8 million.
In the 4th place spot is Summit Entertainment’s 3D opening of The Three Musketeers. Despite a release on 3,017 theaters, the film found only $8.8 million in its domestic opening. While that seems to be a horrible opening tally for the Paul W.S. Anderson feature in the states, the studio’s international branch and Constantin Films did find $50 million in opening ticket sales on the global front. Anderson’s wife and “Musketeers” co-star Milla Jovovich was quick to the director’s side by blasting Summit for not marketing it more as a family film.
"3 Musketeers" is a fun family adventure, not "resident evil" as a period piece. Ppl don't even know that they can bring their kids to c it.” Jovovich says on her Twitter. “It's the opposite of PA3. One is horror. The other is grt 4 families n kids! That's NOT HOW IT'S BEEN PROMOTED.”
The budget was around $90 million.
And taking up the 5th place spot is the return of Sony’s drama, The Ides of March. The film found another $4.9 million in its third weekend, increasing the domestic cume to $29.1 million.
Before we go, it looks like Universal continued having a terrible October, with Johnny English Reborn falling flat in its first weekend while The Thing dropped a staggering 63% over its second frame. See what they did in the top 10 list down below and sound off with your thoughts.  

Paranormal Activity 3
$54.0 mil
$54.0 mil
Real Steel
$11.3 mil
$67.2 mil
$10.8 mil
$30.8 mil
The Three Musketeers
$8.8 mil
$8.8 mil
The Ides of March
$4.9 mil
$29.1 mil
Dolphin Tale
$4.2 mil
$64.3 mil
$4.0 mil
$63.7 mil
Johnny English Reborn
$3.8 mil
$3.8 mil
The Thing
$3.1 mil
$14.1 mil
$2.8 mil
$28.8 mil

Friday, October 28, 2011 Releases:
Puss in Boots (3,800+)
In Time (3,000+)
The Rum Diary (2,100+)
The Double
And They’re Off


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myklspader 10/23/2011 6:12:44 PM

Saw PA3 and it was not bad but not great. Good to see another series other than Saw at Halloween time. Do not see where the fourth will go unless they do one where Katie is captured or something, but they defentliely need to break away from the camcorder POV.

vitieddie 10/23/2011 7:01:20 PM

watched musketeers - it was ok - nothing special 2/5.

Dazzler 10/24/2011 3:40:04 AM

I saw The Three Musketeers.  I enjoyed it as much as the Charlie Sheen one bad in the day.  90 mil?  Not sure what they were hoping making a movie like this for that much.  I don't mind watching one of these every few years for the sword play and action but they needed to change it entirely for story.  There was too many elements from the Sheen on in this.  Not sure if that is from the books or not.  

Can't wait to see PA3 next week for Halloween!  And no they don't need to break away from camcorder pov.  That's the point so to speak.  I love movies like that, can't wait for that super power one that is coming. 

Hobbs 10/24/2011 5:37:09 AM

90 mil is smart if it's doing that well overseas.  It makes around 30 mil in US it will make over it's budget when all is said and done.

AlpineWoods 10/24/2011 6:04:50 AM

Like I commented before, the fourth Paranormal Activity will go back a bit further, maybe to the mid 70's, and probably be shot on Super 8 film, or maybe Betamax tape. But I think a new set of characters would be a good idea for the fourth movie.

wessmith1966 10/24/2011 6:31:07 AM

Haven't seen the PA movies; I saw Blair Witch back in the day so I don't need to go there again.

I thought Muskateers was fun; not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination but a fun movie that the kids loved. I wasn't expecting a good movie, it is an Anderson movie after all, but I was expecting a fun and fast-paced adventure and that's exactly what I got. I'm not sure Milla's bitching about; the few commercials that I saw made it out to be an adventure movie. It sounds more like she's trying to cover her hubby's butt because this movie's not exactly a hit for him.

Wiseguy 10/24/2011 7:09:52 AM

Damn somebody has got to be getting rich off those PA films. 54mil on a 5mil budget opening weekend? Those are the kind of investments I need.

Poor 3 Musketeers, it better blow up overseas. And it might, I'm sure it'll be a bigger attraction there, they like 3D more than we do and with a weak dollar it helps inflate the totals once you convert the receipts to the old greenback

shac2846 10/24/2011 8:23:54 AM

 Saw Paranormal Activity 3 with wife and a bunch of our friends and thought it was an excellent horror film probably the best out of the series so far and it's a testement to how the filmmakers are handling these things that me, my wife, and our friends all left wanting a part 4. Saw it with a packed house after we went to several theatres that were sold out and the audience loved it. People were cluttering up the hallways talking about how much they liked it. This film expanded on the mythology behind the series and somehow managed to make it even creepier and scarier.  I understand that people don't like the hand held camera thing but these films have been mostly static camera's mounted on walls or tripods and when they are used for handheld shots it never detracts from the story or makes you dizzy or anything like that. And the really amazing thing is there wasn't an ounce of blood spilt. The filmmakers managed to actually make a scary movie without all the gore and torture porn shit. These films aren't Saw or Final Destination they are actually really good and I can't wait to see more. If you enjoy horror films go check this out the real camera stuff will not take away from the experience.

Wise, my friends and I were thinking the same thing. I read an interview with Oren Peli in a magazine where he said they are going to intentionally keep the budgets low on all the sequels so you know someone is swimming in a vault of money like Scrooge McDuck it's insane.  

raa2001 10/24/2011 9:21:22 AM

yeah I enjoyed PA3 and thought that it was better than PA2.  I'm looking forward to a PA4, which I think should be the final if they decide to do another sequel.

CoolerKing 10/24/2011 10:25:52 AM

Did anybody else who have seen PA3  notice that 50% of the scenes in the  trailor was not in the movie. They cut out some really good stuff. Hope the have a extended cut when it comes out on dvd.

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