This weekend's box office features the return of the reigning horror king and Tyler Perry taking on a role made famous by Morgan Freeman.
It's no surprise that Paranormal Activity 4 (read our review) comes in at number 1 this weekend with $30 million. What is surprising, though, is the downward trend that this entry's opening weekend numbers suggest when compared to previous Paranormal Activities.
Not counting the first film, which used a slow build-up of word of mouth to generate its total grosses, PA 4 is the lowest weekend debut in the series. While this doesn't outright spell doom for the found footage franchise – which hoped to spin-off a Latino version of the franchise for next year – it does suggest horror fans' tastes are changing.
In at a distant second is Ben Affleck's Argo, which grossed $16.6 million in its second weekend. Strong word of mouth and some awards show buzz certainly helped the film retain nearly its entire hold on the box office (the film's grosses only dropped 14%), and it's now at $43 million to date. Working off a budget of $44.5 million, it's only a matter of time before Warner Bros. and Affleck start collecting pure profit.
Sony's Hotel Transylvania, the animated monster film featuring the voice of Adam Sandler, continues to fare extremely well and comes in this weekend at number 3 with $13.5 million. As we've mentioned in previous box office reports, the film is an enormous success for Sony, and will almost assuredly get a sequel. The more important question, though, is whether or not director Genndy Tartakovsky will be able to use this film's success to get a Samurai Jack movie made.
Liam Neeson and Taken 2 fell from the number 1 spot – which the film held for the past two weeks – all the way to number 4 with $13.4 million. Now well over $100 million in total grosses, the film is not only nipping at Hotel Transylvania's heels for the number 3 spot it's also creeping closer to the first Taken's domestic total, and could surpass it when all is said and done.
This weekend's other new film, Alex Cross (read our review), comes in at a disappointing number 5 with $11.75 million. Typically, a Tyler Perry-directed film is good for upwards of $20 million, but this poor debut suggests even Perry's own demographic wasn't interested in seeing him in a totally different role.
Alex Cross' previous outings – in which he was played by Morgan Freeman – didn't fare all that well by comparison, but they had the legs to make it to $50 million+ in total grosses. Regardless of opening weekend box office or longevity, though, QED Entertainment seems to believe in this revamped series, and have begun prepping a sequel even before this film opened.
The low budget horror flick Sinister dropped to number 6 this weekend with $9 million and is now at $31 million in total grosses. While the film had been getting positive reviews from critics it wasn't going to have much of a chance against Paranormal Activity 4. On the bright side, the film only cost $3 million to make.
The Kevin James MMA comedy Here Comes the Boom is in at number 7 with $8.5 million this weekend and is now at $23 million to-date. For a film that seemingly came out of nowhere, and only received a big marketing push the week of its release, Sony should be happy with the film's performance.
Pitch Perfect comes in at number 8 this week with $7 million, which brings its total to-date up to $45 million. Strong word of mouth seems to be helping the film remain in the top 10, and it's also now well over its $17 million budget.
Tim Burton's stop-motion animation film Frankenweenie racked in $4.43 million this weekend, which should be good for 9th place. The film is now up to $28 million in total grosses, but unfortunately it looks like it won't be making its $39 million budget back – at least off domestic revenue.
And finally, Rian Johnson's time travel flick Looper rounds out the top 10 with $4.2 million (although it and Frankenweenie could swap places when box office totals are finalized on Monday). More importantly Looper's domestic total to-date is now $57 million -- a very impressive performance considering this is Johnson's first major studio-backed feature.
Source: Box Office Mojo