Paranormal Activity 4 had the lowest grossing opening weekend of any Paranormal sequel, which means that the franchise may yet get a fifth entry, but is either wearing out its welcome, or this entry wasn’t marketed as well as its predecessors. Perhaps there’s just nowhere left to go. Alex Cross didn’t open, so who won the weekend? Ben Affleck. Argo dropped less than 15%, which is abnormal in the modern landscape.

Film Weekend Per Screen Total
1 Paranormal Activity 4 $30,200,000 $8,851 $30,200,000
2 Argo $16,625,000 (-14.6%) $5,120 $43,191,000
3 Hotel Transylvania $13,500,000 (-21.7%) $4,479 $119,000,000
4 Taken 2 $13,400,000 (-38.7%) $3,841 $105,971,000
5 Alex Cross $11,750,000 $4,628 $11,750,000
6 Sinister $9,030,000 (-49.9%) $3,552 $31,950,000
7 Here Comes the Boom $8,500,000 (-28.1%) $2,820 $23,200,000
8 Pitch Perfect $7,009,000 (-24.4%) $2,635 $45,769,000
9 Frankenweenie $4,434,000 (-37.1%) $1,877 $28,343,000
10 Looper $4,200,000 (-32.3%) $1,889 $57,800,000

Paranormal took the weekend, yes, but the second film opened to $40 Million and the third to $52 Million. Though it may not fall off 60-70% next weekend because of Halloween, it’s not in a good place to make much more than $60 Million all in, and of that $30 Million it looks like half of that total came from the Friday. Which means the numbers are going to be very front loaded.

Argo fell 14.6%, which puts it at the 28th slot on the all time lowest drops for a wide release of over 3,000 screens. When you eliminate pictures that got a bounce because of the second weekend being a holiday, it’s then in fifth place, and then the lowest drop for an R-rated picture. Now, whether the picture can continue playing on this level is unknown, but by all math it’s not playing like any picture made in the last twenty years.

Hotel Transylvania is getting a nice holiday bump (which Frankenweenie is not), and has a small chance of hitting somewhere near $150 Million if it doesn’t dry up shortly after the holiday. That’s a big win for Genndy Tartakovsky. Taken 2 crossed $100 Million this weekend, which I guess means it crossed Alex Cross. Action audiences prefer Liam Neeson to Tyler Perry. But that’s no surprise. And though black audiences may like action movies and Tyler Perry, it’s likely those who like action were turned off by having a cross-dresser as a lead, and Madea fans had little interest in the film.

Sinister opened strong, and is already profitable, so a $40-$50 Million all in take is a huge success. There Went the Boom. Pitch Perfect and Looper look like September successes: Smaller films that did well considering their budgets and target demos. Next weekend is a little slow in comparison to some others, but then we’re deep into the fall season where blockbusters and Oscar contenders should dominate the release calender for about nine weeks or so.

Reality Check: Went high on the new releases, and low on the holds for Argo and Hotel Transylvania. Such is predicting.

What did you watch this weekend?