The first film opened very slowly, with massive per-screen averages leading up to a pre-Halloween wide release that grossed $21 million against the opening weekend of the comparatively under performing Saw VI (review) ($14 million). Paranormal Activity (review) ended up with $109 million, while the sequel opened with a massive $40 million weekend but ended with just $84 million (a meager 2.1x weekend-to-final gross multiplier). Even if the third picture manages equally poor legs, it will still end up with $110 million. Whether or not the series has peaked with the third installment like Saw III, this uber-cheap franchise has been a licence to print money for the last three years and should continue to be so for the next few Halloweens. Paramount has scored a studio's dream - blockbuster grosses on a franchise with minuscule costs. It's already done $26 million worldwide, giving the film a massive (for a cheap horror film) $80 million worldwide debut. Come what may, they will be milking this series until the audience stops caring.
review), Paul W.S. Anderson's 3D version of the classic novel, grossed just $8.8 million. That's lower than the $10.3 million opening for The Musketeer back in 2001, and even the $10.6 million opening for Disney's The Three Muskteers back in 1993. The poorly-reviewed film played 50/50 across gender lines, with 36% under-25 and a Cinemascore grade of 'B'. Still, the film has done solid business in European markets for the last month, with a worldwide gross of $73 million already racked up for the $75 million production. Also scoring overseas was Universal's Johnny English Reborn (review). The sequel to the 2003 Rowan Atkinson spy-spoof grossed just $3.8 million this weekend stateside, but has already amassed $108 million worldwide.
In limited-release news, Margin Call (one of the better films of the season, natch) grossed a solid $582,000 on 56 screens, for a solid $10,930 per-screen average. The financial-crisis drama (starring Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore, and Jeremy Irons among others) is also available as a Video On Demand title, making its theatrical performance all the more impressive. Martha Marcy May Marlene, the allegedly terrific Elizabeth Olsen drama about a young woman who escapes from a cult (my wife wants to see it so I'm waiting) scored $34,000 per-screen on four screens, while the documentary Being Elmo earned $25,000 on a single screen. The Mighty Macs, a family-friendly film about girls' basketball, grossed $1,000 per screen in 975 theaters. Snowmen (review), another family film, debuted with $73,000 on 19 screens.
Nearly everything held up pretty well among older releases. Real Steel (review) dropped just 30% in its third weekend, ending its 17th day with $67 million domestic and $153 million worldwide. Footloose also dropped 30% and ended its second weekend with a decent $30 million (it cost just $24 million). Nearing $30 million is The Ides of March, the $12 million political drama has held steady like prior George Clooney dramas like Syriana and Michael Clayton, so a similar $50 million total should be in store. ALSO just under $30 million is the $8 million cancer comedy 50/50, which has rode solid word of mouth past its small $8.6 million debut to a near-4x weekend-to-total multiplier. The major casualty among holdovers was The Thing, which was unloved by critics and audiences and plummeted 63% in weekend two. The $38 million horror prequel now has $14 million after ten days. Dolphin Tale is at $64 million while Moneyball (review) is at $63 million, and both should end with around $70-75 million (the latter could stick around depending on year-end love).
That's it for this weekend. Join us next weekend when Puss In Boots (review) squares off against the Justin Timberlake/Amanda Seyfried sci-fi thriller In Time and Johnny Depp's second time playing Hunter S. Thompson in The Rum Diary (third if you count his narration of the terrific documentary Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson). In limited release, Roland Emmerich's allegedly solid attempt at historical fiction Anonymous, opens on 200 screens.