Box Office: Paranormal Activity 3 Jump Scares And Jump Starts Ailing Box Office

In a way I guess you could say with Paranormal Activity 3‘s arrival this week the box office is having a “spirited” comeback. Since the summer blockbuster season attendance has dropped astronomically. So it should be no surprise that the most successful horror franchise since the Saw series be the attraction that people flock to just a week away from Halloween. The third installment’s Thursday night showings took in an estimated $8 million dollars. Friday’s numbers are just as impressive with $25 million from 3,321 theaters. Despite horror movies being critic-proof, as they are aimed specifically for those looking for a quick scares – even the jumping kind (call it “premature escareulation”) – the film only got a C+ CinemaScore. Which must mean they were also duped by the misleading ads.

If the weekend numbers continue to see carryover from Saturday into Sunday, Paranormal Activity 3 could be one of the rarities where the third installment does more impressive numbers than the sequel. It’s usually the sequel that is the most successful. For reference, Paramount Pictures, the studio distributing PA3, saw a similar situation with its release of Jackass 3-D, which bettered Jackass: Number Two‘s opening weekend numbers by more than $21 million.

If PA3 can finish the weekend above $50 million – it’s currently estimated to finish between $45 – $50 million – it would be the first $50 million opening since the early August release of Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($54.8 million). And since summer’s end, the best opening a film has mustered was $30.1 million and that was a revival of The Lion King in 3-D.

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