The following are the weekend box office results including the biggest winners and losers for the week ending October 23, 2011:
WINNERS: “Paranormal Activity 3,” “Footloose”
“Paranormal Activity” continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for studio Paramount as, to virtually nobody’s surprise, the third volume in the immensely successful series demolished the competition with a powerful $52 million. The debut marked the highest opening for a horror movie in cinema history as well as the biggest opening for a movie opening in the month of October. Those records were previously held by the “Friday the 13th” remake and “Jackass 3D” respectively. The opening was a marked improvement over “Paranormal Activity 2” which opened on this exact frame last year to the tune of $40.7 million. This is especially impressive considering on most occasions, threequels don’t open higher than the sequels that they follow. Considering that the film only cost $5 million and the excitement among the core base still dynamite, you can bet on Paramount greenlighting “Paranormal Activity 4” and even “5” any day now. The only blimp on the film’s radar was that the film could only muster up a poor “C” grade Cinemascore average from opening night audiences – meaning word-of-mouth won’t be very good. Nevertheless, a $47 million profit over opening weekend is a huge margin of victory.
Also joining the winner’s circle for the first time was last weekend’s best debutant performer “Footloose” which dropped a mere 34% in its second weekend for $10.4 million. Looks like the tremendous “A” Cinemascore the film earned from moviegoers last week reared its beautiful face this week. The hold was far better than any comparable dance movie in recent years and this hold should suggest that the remake will become a successful enterprise for studio Paramount. I’d say it’s a good weekend to be the guys at Paramount, don’t you?
JURY’S OUT: “Real Steel”
Though the chart-topping “Real Steel” has been the top dog for most of the month so far, the overall receipts pulled in by this admired family flick isn’t up to par with Touchstone’s original estimates. The Hugh Jackman-starrer slipped to second place this weekend (by 34%) for a $10.8 million cum. That total takes it up to $66.7 million which should allow the film to complete its run in the $90-100 million range – far lower than the $125 million production budget. I wouldn’t say it’s a flop though as international revenues will eventually convert the film into an average sized hit. My Review.
LOSERS: “The Three Musketeers,” “Johnny English Reborn,” “The Thing”
Where do I even begin with these three failures? I guess with the biggest failure of them all… “The Three Musketeers.” With a budget reported to be in the $75-80 million range, this 3D catastrophe was doomed from the get-go. Studio Summit Entertainment was never able to understand how to market the remake. Instead of pushing the family elements of the film, they pushed it as an effects-heavy action film (which didn’t make stars like Milla Jovovich very happy). Furthermore, the embarrassing trailers did nothing to impress by showcasing no-names like Matthew McFayden, Ray Stevensen and Logan Lerman over established stars such as Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz and Milla Jovovich. Things only got worse when the studio abruptly cancelled all press screenings of the film two weeks before release. In the end, even Jovovich began to criticize the film over her Twitter (and accurately so).
“Johnny English Reborn” – the sequel to 2003’s spy comedy “Johnny English” was another dead-on-arrival entry into the box office sphere as it could only muster up $3.8 million over its 1,500 plus sites. It may be a disaster here but at least studio Universal can take solace in the fact that the film was a sizable hit overseas (where it has already taken in numbers north of $100 million).
As for “The Thing” – the arrival of “Paranormal Activity 3” was simply devastating for this critically derided remake which collapsed an alarming 64%, scaring up only $3.1 million for the weekend for a total of $14 million. Universal will probably want to put this one in deep freeze and throw away the key.
- “Paranormal Activity 3” rocked the highest opening for a horror movie in cinema history as well as the biggest opening for a movie opening in the month of October. The previous horror record was held by 2009’s “Friday the 13th” remake while the October record was previously owned by “Jackass 3D.”
- The $52 million taken in by “Paranormal Activity 3” was almost identical to the amount taken by the rest of the movies in the top ten combined. The last film that made more than the rest of the top ten combined was July’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” which opened with a world record-breaking $169.1 million.
- At its current pace, the “Footloose” remake stands a good shot at topping “Step Up” ($65 million) as the highest grossing dance flick of the last ten years. Not bad.
- George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” rounded up the top five, chugging along with $29 million in the campaign fund so far. My Review.
- Dual September debutants “Dolphin Tale” and “Moneyball” (My Review) continued to speed neck and neck in sixth and seventh place. Their totals stand at $64.4 and $63.6 million respectively.
- Indie darling “50/50” roped off the top ten, taking its total up to $28 million.
NEXT WEEK’S RELEASES:
Like this past weekend, the final weekend of October also sees the release of three very different films.
- Leading all newcomers is Dreamworks’ colorful spinoff of the enormously popular “Shrek” series – “Puss in Boots” – which tells the origins of the swashbuckling feline.
- Johnny Depp returns to theaters with the dark comedy “The Rum Diary” – his long delayed adaptation of his idol Hunter S. Thompson’s seminal work – about the alcoholic misadventures of a reporter in Puerto Rico.
- Acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Niccol brings his latest science fiction thriller “In Time” to theaters featuring a cool concept where time in money and a talented young cast including the likes of Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.
WEEKEND TOP TEN
- Paranormal Activity 3 – $52.5 Million (NEW)
- Real Steel – $10.8 Million ($66.7 m) (My Review)
- Footloose – $10.3 Million ($30.3 m)
- The Three Musketeers – $8.6 Million (NEW)
- The Ides of March – $4.8 Million ($29.1 m) (My Review)
- Dolphin Tale – $4.2 Million ($64.4 m)
- Moneyball – $3.9 Million ($63.6 m) (My Review)
- Johnny English Reborn – $3.8 Million (NEW)
- The Thing – $3 Million ($14 m)
- 50/50 – $2.8 Million ($28.8 m)