This weekend shows that Paramount still remembers how to do horror sequels as they’ve dashed off three quickie horror sequels in the last three years to capitalize on the success of Paranormal Activity. It reminds of their success with Friday the 13th films (though they were much more embarrassed of that franchise). And then there’s Tyler Perry and his Alex Cross.

Paranormal Activity 4 follows the patterns of the last couple movies in that it was filmed over a brief period of time, was done for practically no money, and should make Paramount a ton of cash, which – considering the year they’ve had – is a good thing. This year the studio delayed three of their biggest films – Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and World War Z – and because of that they haven’t had a movie in theaters since Katy Perry‘s documentary came out, and it looks like walking away from Marvel was their most profitable (in the short term) decision of the year. But they’ve got some big chancy films coming in the next two months (including Flight and Jack Reacher), and the studio has to be concerned that the next couple months could be rough. This then is the closest thing they’ve got to a home run, and the film should make at least $60-$70 domestic.

Alex Cross is interesting because Tyler Perry is outside of his comfort zone. This may be the movie that gets audiences who had no interest in Madea into the theater, but they don’t really know Perry as a performer so they’re people who want a generic action film. The question is if his loyal audience will turn out for something that isn’t as church-y. It’s hard to say if he’s expanding the brand, but they’re obviously interested in a sequel. Which – considering the film was done for $25 Million – means that as long as they do over $50 Million domestic, we could get one.

So let’s do this:

  1. Paranormal Activity 4 – $37.5 Million
  2. Alex Cross – $16.3 Million
  3. Argo – $14 Million
  4. Taken 2 – $11.1 Million
  5. Hotel Transylvania- $10 Million

Sinister should really take it in the shorts with direct competition, though I may be going a little low on Paranormal and a little high on Alex Cross.

What are you seeing this weekend?