Box Office: Michael Jackson, ‘Paranormal Activity’ terrify Halloween moviegoers

11.01.09 8 years ago
Halloween audiences split their moviegoing dollars between two very different films over the weekend.
The weekend champ was the documentary “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” which delivered $21.3 million domestic for the three days ending Sunday, Nov. 1. The concert film, culled from behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage from the King of Pop’s last weeks before his June death, has now made $101 million worldwide since it opened late Tuesday. Many box office prognosticators had projected a far higher opening weekend for what was originally a limited-run release. Sony has already extended the film’s run.
While “This Is It” may have fallen short of expectations, the weekend’s runner-up, Paramount’s low-budget “Paranormal Activity,” continues to exceed even the studio’s wildest dreams. “Paranormal Activity” made $16.54 million over the weekend, falling only 22 percent from last weekend’s total by adding more than 450 screens. “Paranormal Activity” has now made $84.78 million domestic to date  and is credited with dethroning the “Saw” franchise as Halloween king.
“Saw VI” finished fifth on the weekend with $5.56 million, behind “Law Abiding Citizen” ($7.73 million) and “Couples Retreat” ($6.097 million). Jigsaw’s latest adventure dropped by nearly 61 percent in its second weekend, bringing its total to only $22.82 million. Yes, the “Saw” franchise keeps its budgets low, but since “Saw II,” each of the films has had a lower domestic box office cume than the one before and “Saw VI” isn’t likely to get within 60 percent of the $56 million total for “Saw VI.”
Filling out the rest of the Top 10 were “Where the Wild Things Are” ($5.08 million), “The Stepfather” ($3.4 million) and a trio of box office disappointments — “Astro Boy” ($3.035 million), “Amelia” ($3 million) and “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant” ($2.81 million).
Sony Pictures Classic’s “An Education” continues to be the star of the limited marketplace, taking in $505,00 in only 48 theaters for a total of $1.575 million for the Oscar favorite. Also performing well on a reduced screen load was the sequel “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day,” which made $462,000 in only 68 theaters for the second highest per-screen average of any film in the Top 20.
Here’s a breakdown of the weekend estimates for the Top 10 movies at the box office, according to BoxOfficeMojo.  Final figures are released on Monday.
1. “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,’ $21.3 million, $32.5 million to date.
2. “Paranormal Activity,” $16.54 million, $84.78 million to date.
3. “Law Abiding Citizen,” $7.303 million, $51.39 million to date.
4. “Couples Retreat,” $6.097 million, $86.66 million to date.
5. “Saw VI,” $5.56 million, $22.82 million to date.
6. “Where The Wild Things Are,” $5.08 million, $61.8 million to date.
7. “The Stepfather,” $3.4 million, $24,75 million to date.
8. “Astro Boy,” $3.035 million, $10.89 to date.
9. “Amelia,” $3 million, $8.31 million to date.
10. “The Vampire’s Assistant,” $2.809 million, $10.52 million to date.

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