Paramount Pictures marketing and distribution employees should expect a champagne and cake celebration Monday after the studio dominated the weekend box office with two of the biggest profit margin hits of the year.
In the top slot was “Paranormal Activity 2” which beat all expectations to open to $41.5 million and, no joke, found itself with the biggest horror film opening of all time. Considering the sequel cost the studio only $3 million to make, to say the picture is already a cash cow is a bit of an understatement.
Dropping to second was last weekend’s champ, “Jackass 3-D,” which grossed another $21.6 million for a new 10-day cume of $87 million. The third installment in the “Jackass” franchise should pass the $100 million mark sometime next weekend. That’s a stunning figure considering the previous high water mark in the series, “Jackass: Number Two,” ended up with just $72.2 million.
Summit Entertainment’s “Red” had an positive drop of only 30% from last weekend for another $15 million and a new cue of $43.5 million. The Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren thriller looks like it will top out between $65-75 million. Does that mean sequel? International may determine that unfortunately.
Expanding to 2,181 theaters was Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” with just $12 million. That was a better result than 2006’s “Flags of our Fathers” ($10.2 million), 2008’s wide opening for “Changeling” ($9.3 million) and last year’s debut of “Invictus” ($8.6 million). All three previous Eastwood films ended up in the $33-37 million range, so there’s hope “Hereafter” could crack the $40 million plus mark when all is said and done.
Still steady in fifth was David Fincher’s “The Social Network.” The critically lauded Oscar contender dropped only 29% for another $7.3 million and an impressive new gross of $72.9 million. It should slowly inch its way toward the $95-100 million mark over the next month or so.
Next weekend’s new entries include “Saw 3-D” and in limited release, “Welcome to the Rileys.”
Final box office results are released on Monday.