October 20, 2012

FRIDAY OCTOBER 19 BOX OFFICE RESULTS — Strong Weekend Despite Flabby Paranormal Activity 4

The fourth up weekend in a row, weekend #42 will be about 19% ahead of the multi-year average for this weekend.  However, Paranormal Activity 4 is on track for an opening weekend way below expectations and easily the softest of the franchise.  The weekend remains relatively strong, however, because of a fairly deep bench of movies currently playing, particularly the strong holdover performance of Argo and Hotel Transylvania.    

Paranormal Activity 4 from Paramount opened with $15.0 million Friday and is on pace for $31.0 million Friday-Sunday, well below the $46.2 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast issued Wednesday.  The opening weekend translates to a $9,100 average at 3,412 theaters (above the $5,333 average for all wide-release films the last two years).  But like most horror films and poorly-reviewed sequels, PA4 will vanish from the theaters quickly and should end with about $67 million domestic, the lowest of the franchise by far.

Paranormal Activity Track (Par) ($ millions)
Critics Positive Opening Weekend  Domestic Total 
Paranormal Activity 4 10.19.2012 R 29% 31.0-est 67-est
Paranormal Activity 3 10.21.2011 R 68% 52.6 104.0
Paranormal Activity 2 10.22.2010 R 59% 40.7 84.7
Paranormal Activity 1 10.16.2009 R 82% 19.6 107.9

Alex Cross from Summit/ Lionsgate opened with $4.0 million Friday and is on track for $11.8 million Friday-Sunday, also below the $16.0 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast.  The film should average $4,600 per theater this weekend at 2,539 theaters.  Alex Cross should leave North American theaters with about $29 million, not very promising for the hoped-for franchise featuring the James Patterson character.

Argo is off to an incredible start this second weekend, grossing $5.1 million yesterday (down only 13% from the $5.9 million last Friday, its first day in release).   The Ben Affleck film is on pace to be down only 7% in its second weekend, and we have revised its estimated domestic gross to $98 million.   Hotel Transylvania is also on track for a very low decline (down only 13% in its fourth weekend); Hotel Transylvania‘s final domestic forecast is now $150 million.

Weekend 42: Oct 19-21, 2012 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Paranormal Activity 4 Par [46.2] 31.0 15.0 67
Argo WB [12.4] 18.0 5.1 98
Hotel Transylvania Sony [11.8] 15.0 3.6 150
Taken 2 Fox [11.4] 13.2 4.3 133
Alex Cross Sum/LG [16.0] 11.8 4.0 29
Here Comes the Boom Sony [7.3] 9.2 2.6 47
Sinister Sum/LG [7.9] 8.8 3.0 51
Pitch Perfect Universal [5.9] 7.0 2.3 70
Frankenweenie Disney [4.8] 4.7 1.2 41
Looper Sony/Tri [3.7] 4.2 1.3 70

Note: The table above summarizes an early look at the weekend.  The first column is a reminder of each film’s ShowBuzzDaily Forecast for the weekend (in brackets).  The second column, on which the films are sorted, displays the new weekend projection for each film, based on the Friday numbers (the third column).  The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total number for the film’s total run in North America.  A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade.


In case you missed them, click to see this week’s Weekend Predictions.


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like a strong $128 million total Friday-Sunday, up 13% from the average comparable weekend the last four years and up 17% from the same weekend last year.

($ millions)
WEEKEND #42 Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend
2012 $128 Paranormal Activity 4 $31, Alex Cross $12
2011 $109 Paranormal Activity 3 $53, Three Musketeers $9, Johnny English Reborn $4
2010 $120 Paranormal Activity 2 $41, Hereafter $12
2009 $106 Saw VI $14, Astro Boy $7, Cirque Du Freak $6, Amelia $4
2008 $120 High School Musical 3 $42, Saw V $30, Pride & Glory $6
Avg 2008-11 $114

Check back tomorrow morning for updated weekend figures and revised estimates for domestic final grosses.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.