Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday Box Office (10/22/10): Paranormal Activity 2 grosses $20.1 million while Clint Eastwood's Hereafter grosses $4.1 million.

After scoring a record $6.3 million in midnight showings alone, Paranormal Activity 2 ended its first day with $20.1 million. For what it's worth, that means that Paranormal Activity 2 had one of the lowest 'midnight-to-opening day' multipliers in history. Only Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($22m midnight/$58m opening day), The Twilight Saga: New Moon ($26m/$72m), and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($30m/$68m) had a larger percentage of their opening day grosses from their respective midnight debuts. So there's a good chance that this horror sequel will end up just as front-loaded as, ironically, the Saw sequels. Still, a $3 million sequel with minimal advertising just scored $20 million in a single day, or about what the original made on its first weekend of wide release ($21 million) exactly a year ago. I'm sure no one at Paramount is shedding tears over the math regarding midnight sneaks. The film bested the $14.8 million opening day of The Ring Two (the previous record holder for supernatural horror), and scored the biggest opening day in history for an R-rated horror film. 2.2x weekend multiplier would give the picture about $45 million, which sounds about right. Anything above $39.1 million would top The Grudge and give Paranormal Activity 2 the biggest opening weekend for a supernatural horror picture.

Clint Eastwood's Hereafter grossed with $4.1 million on its first day, proving that Eastwood's pictures are pretty much guaranteed to open to around $11 million no matter how good or bad the reviews are. Jackass 3D grossed $7.5 million on its second Friday, dropping a whopping 65% from its opening Friday, which is to be expected considering the nature of the franchise and the direct-demo competition with Paranormal Activity 2. We can wonder why Paramount chose to open them back to back, but again, with numbers like this, who really cares? Red had a solid hold, grossing $4.5 million on its second Friday with a mere 37% drop. The Hilary Swank legal drama Conviction expanded to fifty-five theaters but grossed just $77,000, so expect a weak $220,000 weekend with a $4,500 per screen average. More details when the weekend numbers come in.

Scott Mendelson

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