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'Alex Cross' Tyler Perry Worst Box Office Bomb & 'Paranormal Activity 4' Big Disappointment

Ben Affleck Argo Iran movieParanormal Activity 4, Tyler Perry's Alex Cross box office actuals below estimates; Ben Affleck's Argo holds on

Oct. 22, '12, update: We all knew that Paramount's Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman-directed Paranormal Activity 4 opened way below expectations this past weekend, Oct. 19-21, at the domestic box office. Box-office actuals released Monday show an even more downbeat picture: Instead of the $30.2 million reported on Sunday, Paranormal Activity 4 collected a considerably more modest $29 million at 3,412 locations as reported at Box Office Mojo. For comparison's sake: on opening weekend, Paranormal Activity 3 brought in $52.56 million, while Paranormal Activity 2 raked in $40.67 million. (Image: Ben Affleck Argo.)

Ben Affleck's Argo has strong hold

With $16.44 million, the Ben Affleck political drama / thriller Argo was down only 15.5 percent compared to the previous weekend. Though slightly higher than the estimated drop-off rate reported on Sunday, Argo had the lowest drop among the top ten movies on the domestic box office chart.

Argo's current cume is $43.01 million. If its box office hold continues, it's indeed possible that Affleck's film will reach $100 million domestically – thus surpassing his previous directorial effort, The Town. Curiously, The Town opened more strongly than Argo, but it was down 35 percent on its second weekend out, and kept on losing 30–40 percent of its business in the ensuing weeks. The heist thriller eventually cumed at $92.18 million.

Tyler Perry slips

Alex Cross, Rob Cohen's critically lambasted crime thriller starring Tyler Perry in the title role, took in $11.39 million – about $400,000 below Sunday estimates – at 2,539 North American venues this past weekend. It's official: the $35 million-budgeted Alex Cross marks Tyler Perry's worst opening weekend ever – quite a few notches below Perry's previous low, Good Deeds' $15.58 million last February.

Adjusted for inflation (to better reflect ticket sales), Alex Cross opened even lower than the Perry-directed Daddy's Little Girls, which debuted with $11.2 million – or approximately $13 million in 2012 dollars – in February 2007. Bizarrely, as per several reports Alex Cross is already getting a sequel.

North American box office chart

At (a disappointing) no. 1, Paranormal Activity 4 was followed by Argo, Liam Neeson's thriller Taken 2 with $13.26 million (cume: $105.83 million), and Sony Pictures' animated Hotel Transylvania with $13 million (cume: $118.52 million), featuring the voices of Selena Gomez, Adam Sandler, and others.

The Summit Entertainment release Alex Cross was no. 5, followed by another Summit release, Sinister, with $8.81 million (cume: $31.73 million), the Kevin James comedy bomb Here Comes the Boom with $8.4 million (cume: $23.13 million), and the college musical comedy Pitch Perfect with $6.75 million (cume: $45.51m).

Rounding out the top twelve were Tim Burton's Frankenweenie with $4.32 million (cume: $28.23 million), Joseph Gordon-Levitt / Bruce Willis' action sci-fier Looper with $4.2 million (cume: $57.84 million), the all-star comedy thriller Seven Psychopaths with $3.27 million (cume: $9.16 million), and Logan Lerman / Emma Watson's The Perks of Being a Wallflower with $2.15 million (cume: $9.12m).

Gone from the top twelve were Jake Gyllenhaal's cop thriller End of Watch and the Ayn Rand-based box office cataclysm Atlas Shrugged: Part II.

Ben Affleck Argo photo: Warner Bros.

Oct. 21 p.m.

Paranormal Activity 4 movie Kathryn NewtonParanormal Activity 4 box office disappoints in North America: Far behind two predecessors

Paranormal Activity 4 opened far below expectations in North America this weekend, Oct. 19-21, trailing the two previous entries in the low-budget Paranormal Activity franchise. According to studio estimates, Paranormal Activity 4 collected $30.2 million – about $4-5 million below what Friday figures indicated – at 3,412 locations, including $4.5 million from Thursday 9 p.m. and midnight screenings. The horror flick's per-theater average was a relatively modest $8,851. (Image: Kathryn Newton Paranormal Activity 4.)

For comparison's sake: Paranormal Activity 3 grossed a much healthier $52.56 million (including $8 million from Thursday midnight screenings only, i.e., no late Thursday evening shows) at 3,321 theaters, while Paranormal Activity 2 scored $40.67 million (including $6.3 million from midnight screenings only) at 3,216 sites in 2010.

Absolute comparisons to the first movie in the series are impossible to make, but relatively speaking, the fourth entry in the series is also trailing the original Paranormal Activity, which debuted at only 12 venues in Oct. 2009, expanding to 760 locations on its fourth weekend out. That initial weekend in wide release, the horror movie brought in $19.61 million – or about two thirds of Paranormal Activity 4's box office take at about one fourth of its number of theaters – averaging an astonishing $25,813 per venue.

Paranormal Activity movies: Actual costs

Now, Paranormal Activity 4 cost a reported $5 million. Wow! So, $30.2 million over the weekend still represents six times its production budget. Isn't that impressive?

Well, sure it is. But that feat looks considerably less impressive when you realize that distributor Paramount spends much more on marketing their Paranormal Activity movies than on making them. For instance, Paranormal Activity 2 cost a reported $3 million. But the studio reportedly spent $25 million marketing their Halloween flick. And remember, as a rule of thumb studios get only about 50 percent of their films' North American gross.

Success at the international box office

The good news for Paranormal Activity 4 is that it raked in an estimated $26.5 million in 33 international markets in the last several days (opening dates vary from country to country). For comparison's sake: In 42 territories, Paranormal Activity 3 opened with $26.1 million.

Although it will fail to reach the widely heralded $60 million worldwide by Sunday evening, $56.7 million isn't bad at all, especially taking into account that low-budget Hollywood horror movie franchises usually aren't that popular overseas.

Paranormal Activity 4 cast

Directed by Paranormal Activity 3's Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, this latest (and in all likelihood not last) entry in the horror series features Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively, Brady Allen, Alisha Boe, and Tommy Miranda.

Paranormal Activity 4 Kathryn Newton photo: Paramount Pictures.

Alex Cross Tyler PerryAlex Cross box office: Tyler Perry has his worst debut ever

Alex Cross, Rob Cohen's widely panned crime thriller starring Tyler Perry in the title role, scored a disappointing $11.75 million at 2,539 North American locations this weekend, according to studio estimates found at Boxofficemojo.com. That's about $3-4 million less than some had been predicting this past week. (Image: Alex Cross Tyler Perry.)

If estimates hold, the Summit Entertainment-released Alex Cross had (or rather, is having) the worst opening weekend ever for a movie featuring Tyler Perry – quite a bit below the previous bottom-record holder Good Deeds' $15.58 million last February. Adjusted for inflation (to better reflect ticket sales), Alex Cross opened even lower than the Perry-directed Daddy's Little Girls, which debuted with $11.2 million – or approximately $13 million adjusted – at 2,111 venues in February 2007.

To date, only two Tyler Perry vehicles have opened below $20 million at the domestic box office: the aforementioned Good Deeds and The Family That Preys ($17.38 million, or approx. $19.4 million adjusted). Alex Cross, which has a 0 percent approval rating and a 3.5/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics, is the first to open below the $15 million mark.

Alex Cross: 'New' Tyler Perry fails to lure fans

Alex Cross' failure is particularly notable for two reasons: it's a radical artistic departure for Perry – a crime thriller universes away from his formulaic, religious-tinted comedies for Lionsgate – and it's a much costlier production than the usual Tyler Perry movies: $35 million, not including marketing and distribution expenses.

It'll be an uphill climb for Alex Cross to match its production costs at the box office; to recover them, it'll be impossible (not taking into account ancillary revenues). And since Perry has no international following, Alex Cross has no chance of being rescued by the international market.

Alex Cross cast

Besides Tyler Perry, the Alex Cross cast includes Matthew Fox, Edward Burns, Giancarlo Esposito, Jean Reno, Rachel Nichols, and veteran Cicely Tyson. Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson were credited for the adaptation of James Patterson's novel Cross.

Also worth noting is that Morgan Freeman played Dr. Alex Cross in two successful movies in North America: Kiss the Girls (1997), which grossed $60.52 million (approx. $106 million adjusted), and Along Came a Spider (2001), which took in $74.07 million (approx. $105 million adjusted).

Alex Cross Tyler Perry photo: Summit Entertainment.

Holy Motors Eva Mendes Leos CaraxLeos Carax HOLY MOTORS Box Office: Acceptable opening at two locations

Made for a reported $5 million, Leos Carax's widely acclaimed Holy Motors collected an estimated $19,500 at two North American locations, averaging an acceptable $9,750 per venue according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. Holy Motors' North American cume currently stands at $28,200. Needless to say, Carax's film has fared infinitely better in France, where it sold more than 120,000 tickets. (Image: Eva Mendes Holy Motors.)

The director's first feature film since the controversial Pola X (1999), Holy Motors was one of two “Limo Movies” at this year's Cannes Film Festival – the other being the David Cronenberg / Robert Pattinson effort Cosmopolis (which also fared much better in France than in North America). Ultimately, despite some enthusiastic critical response (there were pans as well), neither movie won any Official Competition awards.

Holy Motors has a 93 percent approval rating and 8/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics – making it one of the best-received films of 2012. The Holy Motors cast includes Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, Elise Lhomeau, Jeanne Disson, veteran Michel Piccoli, and Carax himself.

Eva Mendes in Leos Carax Holy Motors photo: Indomnia.

Oct. 21 early a.m.

Tyler Perry Alex CrossTyler Perry Alex Cross box office: Worst opening ever for a movie featuring Perry?

Tyler Perry's Alex Cross, directed by Rob Cohen and starring Perry in the title role, opened with an estimated $4.01 million at 2,539 North American locations on Friday, according to studio estimates. Barring a major Saturday and Sunday surge – not an usual occurrence for a Tyler Perry flick — Alex Cross will likely finish the weekend with approximately $12-13 million, or about $2-3 million less than some had been predicting this past week. (Image: Tyler Perry Alex Cross.)

If those figures hold, Alex Cross will mark the worst opening weekend ever for a movie featuring Tyler Perry – quite a bit below Good Deeds' $15.58 million last February. Alex Cross will possibly open even lower than the Perry-directed Daddy's Little Girls, which debuted with $11.2 million (approx. $13 million adjusted for inflation) at 2,111 theaters in February 2007.

To date, only two Tyler Perry vehicles have opened below $20 million at the domestic box office: the aforementioned Good Deeds and The Family That Preys ($17.38 million, or approx. $19.4 million adjusted). None has opened below the $15 million mark.

Alex Cross: A different Tyler Perry

Alex Cross' all-but-inevitable failure is particularly notable not only because the film is a radical artistic departure for Perry – a crime thriller worlds away from his formulaic comedies – and it's a much costlier production than the usual Perry fare: $35 million, not including marketing and distribution expenses.

I should add that Tyler Perry has no international following. If his movies don't perform in the United States, there's no chance of the international market coming to their rescue.

Alex Cross cast

Besides Tyler Perry, the Alex Cross cast includes Matthew Fox, Edward Burns, Giancarlo Esposito, Jean Reno, Cicely Tyson, and Rachel Nichols. Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson were credited for the adaptation of James Patterson's novel Cross. (Morgan Freeman played Dr. Alex Cross in two movies: Kiss the Girls, 1997, and Along Came a Spider, 2001.)

Tyler Perry Alex Cross photo: Summit Entertainment.

Oct. 19

Paranormal Activity 4 Kathryn NewtonParanormal Activity 4 box office: Behind two predecessors in North America

Paranormal Activity 4 is expected to trail its previous two predecessors in North America, if early box office estimates are accurate indicators of the low-budget horror flick's popularity with American and Canadian moviegoers. Barring a late-Friday night surge, Paranormal Activity 4 is expected to gross around $15 million at 3,412 locations today – and that includes $4.5 million from Thursday 9 p.m. and midnight screenings. (Image: Kathryn Newton Paranormal Activity 4.)

For comparison's sake: Paranormal Activity 3 collected $26.3 million at 3,321 theaters on its Friday debut in October 2011, including $8 million from midnight screenings only (i.e., no late Thursday shows). Paranormal Activity 2 raked in $20.1 million at 3,216 sites in Oct. 2010, including $6.3 million from midnight screenings only.

The above Paranormal Activity 4 Friday estimates are found in The Hollywood Reporter, which also predicts that the latest entry in the Paranormal Activity franchise will earn around $35 million over the weekend. For comparison's sake: Paranormal Activity 3 grossed a much healthier $52.56 million, while Paranormal Activity 2 collected $40.67 million in 2010. Comparisons to the first movie in the series can't be made, as Paranormal Activity opened in limited release (12 theaters) in Oct. 2009, expanding to 760 locations on its fourth weekend out. That weekend, the horror movie brought in $19.61 million, averaging an astounding $25,813 per site.

Paranormal Activity movies: production budget vs. marketing budget

Now, Paranormal Activity 4 cost a reported $5 million. Wow! So, even if it ends up grossing $35 million over the weekend – or about $17 million less than its predecessor – that still represents seven times its production budget. Isn't that impressive?

Well, of course it is. Though it's considerably less impressive when you realize that Paramount spends much more on marketing their Paranormal Activity movies than on making them. For instance, Paranormal Activity 2 cost a reported $3 million. But the studio spent a reported $25 million marketing their low-budget Halloween flick.

Paranormal Activity 4: International hit

The real good news for Paranormal Activity 4 is that it may reach $60 million worldwide by Sunday evening. Halloween is basically an American holiday, but this particular horror movie franchise is apparently welcome elsewhere as well at this time of year.

According to the Reporter, Paranormal Activity 4 has already scored $4 million overseas and could well reach $25 million in 33 markets, thus outpacing its predecessor. Well, at least relatively speaking: In 42 markets, Paranormal Activity 3 opened with $26.1 million.

Paranormal Activity 4 cast

Directed by Paranormal Activity 3's Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, Paranormal Activity 4 features Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively, Brady Allen, Alisha Boe, and Tommy Miranda.

Paranormal Activity 4 Kathryn Newton image: Paramount Pictures.


         
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