Weekend Wrap-Up

Argo: No Longer Just a Mid-Week Champ

By John Hamann

October 28, 2012

I swear I'm Canadian. Who's Ben Affleck?

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Paranormal Activity 4 falls to fourth this as the former Halloween go-to takes its first big step toward obscurity (anyone watching a Saw film this Halloween? I thought not). After opening to a number one with $29 million last weekend, PA4 foreshadows what’s to come for Silent Hill 3D next weekend, as it fell 70% to only $8.7 million. The last Paranormal Activity had the same path – dropping 66% in its second weekend – but had a much higher opening frame at $52.6 million, which means it had a second weekend of $18.1 million, or almost twice what the fourth film made during this frame. Still, the Paranormal Activity series is known for being made on the cheap. With a production budget of only $5 million, and a gross so far of $42.6 million, it is still going to make serious money for the studio. Sigh.

That puts Taken 2 down to fifth, but it’s already earned so much, I doubt anyone at Fox really cares. After a third place, $13 million finish last weekend, Taken 2 drops 40% this weekend to $8 million, but brings the domestic total for the sequel up to $117.4 million. While it likely won’t reach the height of the original ($145 million domestic), the overseas gross will more than make it up for it. The original Taken earned $82 million overseas, where this one is going to pull in $200 million at least. With all of this against a production budget of only $45 million, Fox proves again that you only need an angry dad to make a whole bunch of money.

Like an Adam Sandler Christmas movie, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is a horror sequel that can’t open over the Halloween weekend. It should have been a slam dunk, right? Put a young blonde (who looks like the character from the video game) in amongst a whole bunch of carnage, throw in some B list actors (Carrie-Anne Moss, Sean Bean), and start collecting the money - especially since you paid only $20 million to bring it to the screen. Problem is, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (it sounds like the title was translated from an Asian culture) earned only $8 million from its 2,933 screens, or, less than half than what the original opened to in 2006. Silent Hill 3D will make a few extra bucks on Halloween (but not much) and then fall 70%+ in weekend two. It will be lucky to earn $25 million stateside, and with the amount of marketing I’ve seen in the last week, the ad spend must have been twice that. The problem for the money grabbers is that audiences are catching on. Yes, kids are stupid and pay way too much for this dreck, but obviously some are getting smart and staying home. Sadly, the original earned more overseas than it did at home, so we can only hope our overseas brethren are learning about how bad these films are as well.


Seventh, eighth and ninth go to a mish-mash of films that earned a similar amount. Seventh Here Comes the Boom, the Kevin James comedy that didn’t quite work. Boom earned $5.5 million in weekend three, and has a forgettable cume of only $30.6 million. Eight place goes to Sinister, the horror flick with Ethan Hawke. After a strong $18 million opening (or six times its production budget), Sinister has slipped away, grossing only $5.1 million this weekend. Still, the made-for-$3 million film has now earned $39.5 million. Ninth is Alex Cross, with Tyler Perry killing the franchise. Alex Cross earned $5 million, and falls a Madea-style 56% compared to its $11.4 million opening frame.

Tenth goes to Fun Size, which Paramount mistakenly released to 3,014 cinemas. It earned only $4.1 million (tracking expected $8 million), giving it a venue average of $1,347 (someone’s getting fired ). Fox’s Chasing Mavericks does even worse, earning $2.2 million from 2,002 venues (someone tell me again why Argo dropped 300 screens?). It had an average of $1,099.

Overall, the box office has been lobotomized. After four consecutive frames where the top 12 films pulled in more than $106 million, the box office goes badly backward, with a top 12 take of $81.9 million. Over the same weekend last year, the top 12 earned $93.6 million. Next weekend, openers include Wreck-It Ralph, which looks like a lot of fun, representing the crazy '80s for adults and providing eye candy for the kids; Flight, the already well-reviewed Denzel Washington/Robert Zemeckis team-up; and the wildcard, The Man with the Iron Fists – a film I so want to be good, but know will be bad.

Top Weekend Box Office for 10/26/12-10/28/12 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Argo Warner Bros. $12,300,000 - 25% $60,780,000
2 Hotel Transylvania Columbia Pictures (Sony) $9,500,000 - 27% $130,434,000
3 Cloud Atlas WARNER BROS. $9,400,000 New $9,400,000
4 Paranormal Activity 4 Paramount $8,675,000 - 70% $42,632,000
5 Taken 2 Twentieth Century Fox $8,000,000 - 40% $117,388,845
6 Silent Hill: Revelation Open Road $8,000,000 New $8,000,000
7 Here Comes the Boom Sony/Columbia $5,500,000 - 35% $30,610,000
8 Sinister Summit Entertainment $5,070,000 - 42% $39,514,955
9 Alex Cross Lionsgate $5,050,000 - 56% $19,368,691
10 Fun Size PARAMOUNT $4,060,000 New $4,060,000
11 Pitch Perfect Universal $3,978,010 - 41% $51,330,243
12 Frankenweenie Walt Disney Pictures $2,400,000 - 45% $31,800,000
  Also Opening/Notables
  Chasing Mavericks Fox $2,200,000 New $2,200,000
  The Other Son Cohen Media Group $115,000 New $115,000
  District of Corruption Rocky Mountain Pictures $22,123 New $22,123
  The Sessions FOX SEARCHLIGHT $230,723 + 103% $390,366
  Hating Breitbart Rocky Mountain Pictures $9,365 - 77% $52,437
  Brooklyn Castle Producer's Distribution Agency $30,093 + 60% $53,965
  Seven Psychopaths Cbs Films $1,465,000 - 55% $11,926,508
  Looper Sony/Columbia $2,100,000 - 50% $61,500,000
  The Perks of Being a Wallflower Summit Entertainment $1,400,000 - 35% $11,207,679
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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