‘Paranormal 4’ Is Weekend’s Top Movie With $30 Million in Sales

‘Paranormal 4’ Is Weekend’s Top Movie With $30 Million in Sales
Among returning films, “Argo,” from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., had sales of $16.6 million, retaining second place for a second weekend. Photographer: Claire Folger/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. via Bloomberg

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- “Paranormal Activity 4,” the latest in Paramount Pictures’ low-cost horror series, was the top-grossing film at theaters in the U.S. and Canada, generating $30.2 million in ticket sales.

“Alex Cross,” Tyler Perry’s foray into an action-hero role, was fifth with sales of $11.8 million, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

“Paranormal Activity 4” renews one of Hollywood’s most profitable franchises. The first three films cost about $8 million to produce and generated $576.6 million in worldwide ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo. The latest picture, about a family tormented by a demon, cost about $5 million and is forecast to take in $42.1 million, according to the website.

The film “was below expectations, but still a solid opening given the modest production budget,” Paul Sweeney, an analyst for Bloomberg Industries, said in an e-mail.

Like its predecessors, “Paranormal Activity 4” is filmed in the “found-footage” style as characters set up cameras throughout the house to record strange happenings. In this edition, a neighborhood becomes the setting for terrifying events after a woman and a mysterious child move in.

“Paranormal” is forecast to be a box-office success even though many critics panned the film. Of 62 reviews compiled on Rottentomatoes.com, 44 were negative. Paramount Pictures is a unit of Viacom Inc.

‘Alex Cross’

In “Alex Cross,” Perry, creator of the “Madea” comedies, plays the protagonist from author James Patterson’s crime novels. An older version of the character was played by Morgan Freeman in “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider.” “Alex Cross” is set in an earlier period of the character’s life while he is working as a homicide detective. In subsequent novels, he becomes a FBI agent and later begins a private psychology practice. The film is from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s Summit unit.

Perry is better known to audiences for playing Madea, the matron of a large Southern family, in drag. His five films featuring the character have generated $323.4 million in domestic ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo.

“Alex Cross” was expected to take in $14.5 million this weekend, according to the website.

“While I doubt ‘Alex Cross’ will bounce back significantly next week, Tyler Perry films have a loyal audience, which should give this film some legs,” Sweeney said.


Among returning films, “Argo,” from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., had sales of $16.6 million, retaining second place for a second weekend, “and should play well for the next few weeks given good word of mouth and the star power of Ben Affleck,” Sweeney said.

Affleck directed the film and stars as Tony Mendez, a real-life CIA operative who entered Iran at the height of the anti-American revolution to rescue six diplomats who escaped the takeover of the U.S. Embassy. With the help of the Canadian government, Mendez disguised the diplomats as members of a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a sci-fi film called “Argo.” Alan Arkin and John Goodman co-star as the makeup director and producer who helped make the scheme work.

Sony Corp.’s “Hotel Transylvania” rose to third from fourth with $13.5 million. The animated film features the voice of Adam Sandler as Dracula, who invites famous monsters to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. The gathering is complicated by the arrival of a human who falls for the vampire’s daughter.

Sales, Attendance

“Taken 2,” a sequel to the 2009 Liam Neeson action film, was the fourth-highest-grossing movie at cinemas, collecting $13.4 million in sales for News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox.

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 13 percent to $124.1 million from the year-earlier period, Hollywood.com said. Domestic film sales this year have risen 4 percent to $8.59 billion, with attendance up 2.8 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales from Oct. 19 and Oct. 20 and estimates for yesterday.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
 1 PARANORMAL ACT. 4  $30.2    3,412   $8,851   --    $30.2    1
 2 ARGO                16.6    3,247    5,120  -15     43.2    2
 3 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA  13.5    3,384    3,989  -22    119.0    4
 4 TAKEN 2             13.4    3,489    3,841  -39    105.9    3
 5 ALEX CROSS          11.8    2,539    4,628   --     11.8    1
 6 SINISTER             9.0    2,542    3,552  -50     32.0    2
 7 HERE COMES THE BOOM  8.5    3,014    2,820  -28     23.2    2
 8 PITCH PERFECT        7.0    2,660    2,635  -24     45.8    4
 9 FRANKENWEENIE        4.4    2,362    1,877  -37     28.3    3
10 LOOPER               4.2    2,223    1,889  -32     57.8    4
11 SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS    3.3    1,480    2,233  -21      9.2    2
12 WALLFLOWER           2.2      745    2,886    0      9.1    5

Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
    $124.1         $109.4      +13%

Year-to-date Revenue

     2012          2011
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
    $8,591        $8,263      +4.0%

Year-to-date Attendance:      +2.8%

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; Justin Doom in New York at jdoom1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net