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‘Paranormal Activity 4’ Is No. 1 Movie With $29 Million

“Paranormal Activity 4,” the latest installment in Paramount Pictures’ low-cost horror series, was the top-grossing film at theaters in the U.S. and Canada, generating $29 million in ticket sales.

“Alex Cross,” Tyler Perry’s foray into an action-hero role, opened in fifth with sales of $11.4 million, researcher Box-Office said today 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, 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 $16.4 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.

“Taken 2,” a sequel to the 2009 Liam Neeson action film, was the third-highest-grossing movie at cinemas, collecting $13.3 million in sales for News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox.

Sony Corp.’s “Hotel Transylvania” was fourth with $13 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.

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 11 percent to $121 million from the year-earlier period, said. Domestic film sales this year have risen 3.9 percent to $8.59 billion, with attendance up 2.8 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales from Oct. 19 through today.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
 1 PARANORMAL ACTIVITY $29.0   3,412   $8,501   --    $29.0    1
 2 ARGO                 16.4    3,247   5,065  -15     43.0    2
 3 TAKEN 2              13.3    3,489   3,801  -39    105.8    3
 4 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA   13.0    3,384   3,842  -25    118.5    4
 5 ALEX CROSS           11.4    2,539   4,489   --     11.4    1
 6 SINISTER              8.8    2,542   3,468  -51     31.7    2
 7 HERE COMES THE BOOM   8.4    3,014   2,789  -29     23.1    2
 8 PITCH PERFECT         6.8    2,660   2,540  -27     45.5    4
 9 FRANKENWEENIE         4.3    2,362   1,833  -39     28.2    3
10 LOOPER                4.2    2,223   1,891  -32     57.8    4
11 SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS     3.3    1,480   2,212  -22      9.2    2
12 WALLFLOWER            2.2      745   2,890    0      9.1    5

Top 12 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $121.0 $109.4 +11

Year-to-date Revenue

2012 2011 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $8,588 $8,263 +3.9 Year-to-date Attendance: +2.8%

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