Weekend Box Office: Scary Big

Well, it’s official: ‘Paranormal Activity 2‘ is a bona fide smash. With a total gross of $43.5 million, it not only toppled the box office this weekend, but also broke a couple of records. It’s the biggest opening weekend for a horror movie EVER, and its $6.3 million from midnight shows eclipsed the $4.6 million from ‘Watchmen‘ to become the highest grossing R-rated midnight opening ever. Not bad for a crummy-looking $3.6 million horror movie that, as far as I noticed, was barely promoted or even explained. (Is it a prequel? A sequel? Both?)

Last weekend’s victor (also from Paramount) ‘Jackass 3D‘ dipped to #2. It’s down a whopping 57%, which was more or less to be expected. Still, this thing will make off with a boat load of money, enough to pay for all the cracked skulls and ruptured testicles that the boys endured on this three-dimensional outing in numb-skullery.

Holding surprisingly strong is ‘RED,’ the old folks action movie. It held fast at #3, down only 30% from last weekend. While ‘RED’ is not exactly a masterpiece, it’s great to see a film aimed at an older demographic than all the other crap at the multiplex getting a fair shake at the box office.

The rest of the box office is pretty much par for the course. It’s worth mentioning that ‘Hereafter,’ the ghostly Clint Eastwood meditation on death and letting go (also, there’s a tsunami in it – all of this I picked up from the trailers), came in at #4. Some early predictions had it charting lower. It still beat ‘The Social Network‘ (in its fourth week), but this is far from a runaway smash. Again, older viewers put it as high up as it is. Word of mouth will either carry it forward or let it wash away with the current. I still haven’t seen it yet, but am intrigued by the polarization of the reactions. This is the best kind of movie for film discussion – the love it-or-hate it kind. Which reminds me, how many Bonus Viewers went out and caught the new Clint Eastwood joint? Sound off below, after you enjoy the rest of the Top 10!

The Top 10:

01 ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ (Paramount) – $43.5

02 ‘Jackass 3D’ (Paramount) – $21.5 million

03 ‘RED’ (Summit) – $15.2 million

04 ‘Hereafter’ (Warner Bros) – $12.3 million

05 ‘The Social Network’ (Sony) – $7.2 million

06 ‘Secretariat’ (Disney) – $7 million

07 ‘Life As We Know It’ (Warner Bros) – $6.3 million

08 ‘Legend of the Guardians’ (Warner Bros) – $3.1 million

09 ‘The Town’ (Warner Bros) – $2.7 million

10 ‘Easy A’ (Sony) – $1.7 million

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