'Paranormal Activity 2' Tops, 'Hereafter' Expands

Diane Lane, Secretariat, Margo Matindale
Diane Lane, Margo Martindale, boy rolling eyes in Randall Wallace's Secretariat

Oct. 29

On the eve of Halloween weekend, Tod Williams' horror flick Paranormal Activity 2 grossed $1.97 million (up a healthy 6.1 percent) at the no. 1 spot in North America on Thursday, Oct. 28, as per Box Office Mojo.

Paranormal Activity 2's rule at the box office should end this weekend with the opening of Saw 3D, which, fans of the genre are surely hoping, will make it look as if all those buckets of blood are splattering right on their faces.

Also on Thursday, Johnny Knoxville's Jackass 3D came in second with $1.36 million, down 4 percent. Strange, as I'd have thought the frightening Jackass 3D would be perfect Halloween fare.

At no. 3, Robert Schwentke's comedy-actioner Red, starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, and Morgan Freeman, pulled in $1.12 million, up 5.6 percent and as a result still above the $1m-per-day mark after two weeks.

At no. 4, Clint Eastwood's meditative drama Hereafter, featuring Matt Damon, Cécile De France, and Bryce Dallas Howard, collected $781,000.

At no. 5, Diane Lane's horse-racing drama Secretariat scored $569,000, followed by David Fincher-Jesse Eisenberg's The Social Network with $508,000.

Next in line were the Katherine Heigl-Josh Duhamel-Josh Lucas comedy Life As We Know It with $482,000 at no. 7, and the Ben Affleck-Jeremy Renner-Jon Hamm-Rebecca Hall thriller The Town with $232,000 at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole with $166,000, Emma Stone's Easy A (up two spots) with $121,000, Oliver Stone-Michael Douglas-Shia LaBeouf's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps with $107,000, Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for 'Superman' with $96,000.

Among the top-twelve movies, five were down, seven were up on Thursday. Waiting for 'Superman' posted the steepest Wednesday-to-Thursday decline, down 9.8 percent. Easy A posted the highest attendance gains, up 15.4 percent.

Also among the top twelve, Paranormal Activity 2 had the highest per-theater average, $615. Legend of the Guardians had the lowest, $74.

Photo: Secretariat (John Bramley / Walt Disney Pictures)

Oct. 28

Karl Urban, Red
Karl Urban, Red

Tod Williams' horror flick Paranormal Activity 2 pulled in $1.86 million (down 15.5 percent) at the no. 1 spot on the North American box office chart on Wednesday, Oct. 27, as per Box Office Mojo.

Johnny Knoxville's Jackass 3D came in second with $1.42 million.

At no. 3, Robert Schwentke's comedy-actioner Red, starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, and Morgan Freeman, pulled in $1.06 million. One more drop and Red will fall below the $1m-per-day mark.

At no. 4, Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, featuring Matt Damon, Cécile De France, and Bryce Dallas Howard, took in $829,000.

At no. 5, Diane Lane's Secretariat drew $538,000, thus maintaining a slight lead over David Fincher-Jesse Eisenberg's The Social Network, which scored $503,000.

Next in line were the Katherine Heigl-Josh Duhamel-Josh Lucas comedy Life As We Know It with $451,000 at no. 7, and the Ben Affleck-Jeremy Renner-Jon Hamm thriller The Town with $244,000 at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole with $158,000, Oliver Stone-Michael Douglas-Shia LaBeouf's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps with $108,000, Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for 'Superman' with $107,000, Emma Stone's Easy A with $105k

Back among the top twelve, Waiting for 'Superman' displaced Wes Craven-Max Thieriot's My Soul to Take.

Among the top-twelve movies, Hereafter posted the steepest Tuesday-to-Wednesday drop-off rate, down 17.9 percent. Waiting for 'Superman' posted the highest attendance gains, up 23.6 percent.

Also among the top twelve, Paranormal Activity 2 had the highest per-theater average, $580. Easy A had the lowest, $65.

Photo: Red (Frank Masi / Summit Entertainment)

Oct. 27

Bryce Dallas Howard, Matt Damon, Hereafter
Bryce Dallas Howard, Matt Damon, Hereafter

Tod Williams' Paranormal Activity 2 scored another $2.2 million (down 9 percent) in North America on Tuesday, Oct. 26, topping the box office chart according to Box Office Mojo.

Paranormal Activity 2's total after five days is $45.31 million. The horror flick should be passing the $50 million milestone on Friday.

Johnny Knoxville's Jackass 3D came a little behind with $1.72 million.

At no. 3, Robert Schwentke's comedy-actioner Red, starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, and Morgan Freeman, pulled in $1.26 million. Red should be crossing the $50 million mark either on Friday or Saturday.

At no. 4, Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, featuring Matt Damon, Cécile De France, and Bryce Dallas Howard, was back above the $1m-per-day mark with $1.01 million.

At no. 5, Diane Lane's Secretariat collected $606,000, slightly ahead of David Fincher-Jesse Eisenberg's The Social Network's $581,000.

Next in line were the Katherine Heigl-Josh Duhamel-Josh Lucas comedy Life As We Know It with $524,000 at no. 7, and the Ben Affleck-Jeremy Renner-Jon Hamm thriller The Town with $262,000 at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole with $161,000, Oliver Stone-Michael Douglas-Shia LaBeouf's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps with $117,000, Emma Stone's Easy A with $113,000, Wes Craven-Max Thieriot's My Soul to Take with $101,000.

Among the top-twelve movies, four were down: Paranormal Activity 2, Jackass 3D, Legend of the Guardians, and My Soul to Take with a tiny drop of down 0.1 percent.

Legend of the Guardians, whose owls only come to life on weekends, posted the steepest Monday-to-Tuesday drop-off rate, down 13.1 percent. Life As We Know It posted the highest attendance gains, up 25.3 percent.

Also among the top twelve, Paranormal Activity 2 had the highest per-theater average, a not all that impressive $687. My Soul to Take had the lowest, $60.

Photo: Hereafter (Ken Regan / Warner Bros.)

Oct. 26

Clint Eastwood, Lindsey Marshall, Hereafter
Clint Eastwood directs Lindsey Marshall, Hereafter

Tod Williams' Paranormal Activity 2 collected $2.42 million in North American on Monday, Oct. 25, according to Box Office Mojo. That's less than $700,000 ahead of Johnny Knoxville's Jackass 3D $1.77 million, the day's no. 2 movie.

Both Paranormal Activity 2 and Clint Eastwood's Hereafter fell below the daily $1,000 per-theater average: PA2 with $755 (on Day 4) and Hereafter with $407 (on Day 11; Day 4 in wide release).

At no. 3 on Monday, Robert Schwentke's comedy-actioner Red, starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, and Morgan Freeman, scored $1.12 million.

At no. 4, Hereafter, featuring Matt Damon, Cécile De France, and Bryce Dallas Howard, pulled in $887,000.

Up one spot at no. 5 – ahead of David Fincher's The Social Network – Diane Lane's Secretariat collected $544,000, followed by The Social Network's $504,000.

Next in line were the Katherine Heigl-Josh Duhamel-Josh Lucas comedy Life As We Know It with $418,000 at no. 7, and the Ben Affleck-Jeremy Renner-Jon Hamm thriller The Town with $231,000 at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole with $185,000, Emma Stone's Easy A with $107,000, Wes Craven-Max Thieriot's My Soul to Take with $101,000, Oliver Stone-Michael Douglas-Shia LaBeouf's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps with $100,000.

Among the top-twelve movies, Legend of the Guardians posted the steepest Sunday-to-Monday drop-off rate, down 82.1 percent. My Soul to Take posted the lowest, down 60 percent. (Those two movies reversed positions vis-à-vis drop-off rates.)

Also among the top twelve, Paranormal Activity 2 had the highest per-theater average, $755. My Soul to Take had the lowest, $60.

Photo: Hereafter (Ken Regan / Warner Bros.)

Oct. 25

Matt Damon, Hereafter
Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood's Hereafter

Tod Williams' Paranormal Activity 2 earned nearly $1 million less than estimated this past weekend, taking in $40.67 million at North American screens, according to actuals found at Box Office Mojo.

Directed by Jeff Tremaine, and featuring Johnny Knoxville, Jackass 3D grossed $21.31 million at no. 2.

At no. 3, Robert Schwentke's comedy-actioner Red, starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, and Morgan Freeman, brought in $15.03 million.

At no. 4, Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, featuring Matt Damon, Cécile De France, and Bryce Dallas Howard, collected $12.01 million.

In fifth place, David Fincher's The Social Network, featuring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Rooney Mara, scored $7.27 million.

At no. 6, Diane Lane's Secretariat drew $7 million.

Next in line were the Katherine Heigl-Josh Duhamel-Josh Lucas comedy Life As We Know It with $6.13 million at no. 7, and Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole with $3.24 million at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Ben Affleck-Jeremy Renner-Jon Hamm's The Town with $2.74 million, Emma Stone's Easy A with $1.74 million, Oliver Stone-Michael Douglas-Shia LaBeouf's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps with $1.24 million, Wes Craven-Max Thieriot's My Soul to Take with $1.07 million.

Note that Easy A and Money Never Sleeps switched positions once actuals were released.

Among the – mostly quite strong – top-twelve holdovers (not including Hereafter, which went from 6 to 2,181 theaters), Legend of the Guardians posted the lowest weekend-to-weekend drop-off rate, down 23.2 percent, My Soul to Take posted the steepest, down 66.2 percent.

Also among the top twelve, Paranormal Activity 2 had by far the highest per-theater average, $12,649 (including late-Thursday screenings), followed by Jackass 3D's $6,851 and Hereafter's $5,510. My Soul to Take had the lowest, $635.

Photo: Hereafter (Ken Regan / Warner Bros.)

Oct. 24

Paranormal Activity 2, horror movie

Made on a reported $3 million, Tod Williams' Paranormal Activity 2 far surpassed pundits' expectations (ranging $25-30m), taking in an estimated $41.5 million on opening weekend (including $6.3 million from late-night Thursday screenings) in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Paranormal Activity 2, which has a mediocre 53 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' “Top Critics,” averaged $12,904 (including Thursday screening) at 3,216 locations.

Looking at Box Office Mojo's daily chart, Paranormal Activity 2 was down a whopping 35.2 percent on Saturday – but that's because Friday's take included the aforementioned $6.3 million from Thursday screenings. Without that extra bonus, Friday and Saturday figures remained steady.

For comparison's sake: Back in 1999, The Blair Witch Project went wide on its third weekend, grossing $29.2 million at 1,101 theaters, averaging $26,528 per venue. In 2010 dollars, that would translate into approximately $45.6 million and $41,515 per theater.

Not adjusted for inflation, Paranormal Activity 2 boasts the fifth ever biggest Fall opening, after four scary-sounding flicks: Jackass 3D, Scary Movie 3, Shark Tale, and High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

Marketing costs for the Paranormal Activity sequel/prequel have reportedly hovered around $25 million – or more than 8 times the film's production budget. Money well spent, obviously.

In fact, film distributors/marketers should take courses from the people who sold both Paranormal Activity movies – and Jackass 3D, too, of course.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Matt Damon, Jay Mohr, Hereafter
Matt Damon, Jay Mohr, Hereafter

Tod Williams' Paranormal Activity 2 is the “supernatural horror movie” with the biggest opening ever in North America, according to Box Office Mojo's Brandon Gray.

As per studio estimates, the Paranormal Activity sequel took in $20.1 million on Friday (including $6.3 million at Thursday midnight screenings), thus surpassing The Ring Two's $14.8 million (unadjusted for inflation) back in 2005. (It's unclear whether The Ring Two's Friday take includes any late-night Thursday screenings.)

Directed by Jeff Tremaine, and featuring Johnny Knoxville, Jackass 3D collected $7.57 million at no. 2. The low-brow comedy has already passed the acclaimed The Social Network at the domestic box office: $73.17 million vs. $67.9 million.

Down one spot at no. 3, Robert Schwentke's comedy-actioner Red, starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, and Morgan Freeman, brought in $4.53 million.

Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, which, like Paranormal Activity 2 also deals with death – but in a radically different manner – brought in $4.13 million at 2,181 venues, or a good – but hardly spectacular – $1,896 per theater. Hereafter stars Matt Damon.

Down two spots in fifth place, David Fincher's The Social Network, featuring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Rooney Mara, drew $2.27 million.

No. 6 and no. 7 were a technical tie: the Katherine Heigl-Josh Duhamel-Josh Lucas comedy Life As We Know It with $2.005 million and Diane Lane's Secretariat with $2.003 million. By Sunday, Secretariat should be ahead.

Ben Affleck's The Town, featuring Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, and Rebecca Hall, scored $820k at no. 8.

Rounding out the top eleven were Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole with $775,000, Oliver Stone-Michael Douglas-Shia LaBeouf's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps with $565,000, Emma Stone's Easy A with $360k.

Both Money Never Sleeps and Legend of the Guardians should be passing the $50 million milestone by Monday.

Among the top eleven movies on the chart, Paranormal Activity 2 had the highest per-theater average, $6,250 (includes Thursday midnight screenings). Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps had the lowest, $287.

Among the holdovers (not including Hereafter, which went from 6 to 2,181 theaters), Legend of the Guardians posted the highest Thursday-to-Friday attendance increase, up 195.3 percent, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps posted the lowest, up 69.6 percent.

Photo: Hereafter (Ken Regan / Warner Bros.)

Paranormal Activity 2, Tod Williams
Tod Williams' Paranormal Activity 2

Paranormal Activity 2, the sequel to the 2007 low-budget sleeper hit about obnoxious spooks, collected an estimated $6.3 million at Thursday midnight screenings, according to distributor Paramount.

If the studio's calculations are correct, then Paranormal Activity 2 has smashed a couple of records (not adjusted for inflation): highest midnight gross for an R-rated film, thus surpassing last year's Watchmen ($4.6 million), and best October midnight opening – inflation doesn't play a role here because the previous record holder was Johnny Knoxville's Jackass 3D, which took in $2.5 million a mere week ago.

Paranormal Activity's wide-release opening generated $21.1 million in ticket sales. Paranormal Activity 2 is expected to gross considerably more than that.

The sequel was directed by Tod Williams. Oren Peli wrote and directed the original.

Photo: Paramount Pictures.

Source: ew.com

Matt Damon, Hereafter
Clint Eastwood, Hereafter
Hereafter: Matt Damon (top); director Clint Eastwood (bottom)

Directed by Jeff Tremaine, and featuring Johnny Knoxville and numerous idiotic stunts, early fall sensation Jackass 3D pulled in another $21.6 million ($6,943 per theater) at no. 2 in North America, as per studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Despite a seemingly steep 57.4 percent drop – remember, last weekend's earnings included late-Thursday screenings – the $20 million no-brow comedy has already grossed $87.14 million in ten days. By next Friday, Jackass 3D will in all likelihood have crossed the $100 million milestone.

At no. 3, Robert Schwentke's comedy-actioner Red, starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, and Morgan Freeman, scored a respectable $15 million on its second weekend out after a small 31.1 percent drop. Total: $43.48 million. Cost: $58 million.

At no. 4, Clint Eastwood's Hereafter drew $12 million at 2,181 venues, or a good – but hardly spectacular – $5,504 per theater on its first wide weekend. Hereafter features Matt Damon, Cécile De France, and Bryce Dallas Howard, among others. Total after ten days: $12.32 million. Cost: 50 million.

I should note that Hereafter has a so-so 64 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics, versus only 51 percent among all of RT's critics – whose tastes apparently veer more toward Jackass 3D, which garnered a 63 percent approval rating overall (but only 31 percent among RT's top critics).

For comparison's sake:

Eastwood's Invictus, which starred Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, opened with $8.61 million late last year. The South African-set political/sentimental drama went on to gross only $37.4 million domestically, but a remarkable $84.74 million overseas.

In 2008, Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie, collected $9.35 million on its first wide weekend. Changeling eventually took in $35.73 million in North America, in addition to a solid $77.28 million overseas.

Unlike the aforementioned two efforts, Eastwood's Gran Torino, whose poster featured the star-director holding a weapon about twice his size, did quite well in North America.

Gran Torino collected $29.48 million on its first wide weekend, cuming at $148.09 million domestically in addition to $121.86 million overseas – where, relatively speaking, big guns apparently aren't as much of a box office magnet.

Warner Bros. should have learned from that. For the American Hereafter poster, Matt Damon should have been pictured holding a mountain-sized bazooka. Tagline: “Damon will dispatch you to the Hereafter.”

I guarantee you that had the WB marketing people had such foresight, this weekend Hereafter would have earned more than Paranormal Activity 2's $41.5 million.

Photo: Hereafter (Ken Regan / Warner Bros.)

Justin Timberlake, The Social Network, David Fincher
Justin Timberlake in David Fincher's The Social Network

At no. 5, David Fincher's The Social Network, featuring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Rooney Mara, took in $7.3 million (down 29.2 percent), according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Total: $72.93 million. Cost: $40-50 million.

Next in line at no. 6 was Diane Lane-John Malkovich's Secretariat with $6.91 million, down only down 25.8 percent. Total: $37.36 million. Cost: $35 million.

At no. 7, the Katherine Heigl-Josh Duhamel-Josh Lucas comedy Life As We Know It collected $6.15 million (down 31.3 percent). Total: $37.61 million. Cost: $38 million.

Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole pulled in $3.17 million (down 24.9 percent) at no. 8. Total: $50.17 million. Cost: $80 million.

Rounding out the top twelve were:

  • Ben Affleck's The Town, featuring Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, and Rebecca Hall, with $2.72 million (down only down 31.6 percent, despite the loss of 450 venues). Total: $84.65 million. Cost: $37 million.
  • Oliver Stone-Michael Douglas-Shia LaBeouf's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps with $1.21 million (down 48.6 percent, after losing 790 theaters). Total: $49.97 million. Cost: $80 million.
  • Emma Stone's Easy A with $1.75 million (down only down 33.5 percent despite the loss of nearly 700 theaters). Total: $54.78 million. Cost: $8 million.
  • Wes Craven-Max Thieriot's My Soul to Take with $1.05 million (down 66.7 percent after the loss of 840 locations). Total: $13.96 million. Cost: $25 million.

Among the – mostly strong – top-twelve holdovers (not including Hereafter, which went from 6 to 2,181 theaters), Legend of the Guardians posted the lowest weekend-to-weekend drop-off rate, down 24.9 percent, My Soul to Take posted the steepest, down 66.3 percent.

Also among the top twelve, Paranormal Activity 2 had by far the highest per-theater average, $12,904 (including late-Thursday screenings), followed by Jackass 3D's $6,943 and Hereafter's $5,504. My Soul to Take had the lowest, $685.

In the preceding paragraph, two horror movies are listed: one at the very top; one at the very bottom. Just a week ago, people were talking about the lack of appeal of horror flicks. But Paranormal Activity 2 has shown that the problem lies not with the genre – or even with the (generally low) quality of the films – but in how they're marketed.

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4 Comments to 'Paranormal Activity 2' Tops, 'Hereafter' Expands

  1. risot

    Hereafter finished its run with $32 million in North America.

  2. risot

    I think Clint Eastwood is an overrated director, while Matt Damon is an underrated actor. Eastwood has too many Oscar nominations and wins, while Damon has too few.

  3. zac

    Thanks for writing, but I disagree.

    I don't believe Warner Bros. was expecting a $30m opening for a (non-horror) movie about death and the afterlife. And a $12m opening will quite likely take “Hereafter” above the $50m mark.

    Add foreign revenues — if “Hereafter” follows the pattern of Eastwood's recent movies, it'll make much more money overseas — and then ancillary revenues on top of that, and “Hereafter” will quite possibly end up in the black.

  4. Destroyer

    You're wrong about Hereafter. It is a flop. The budget was $50 mil and they probably spent more than that on marketing. Add Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon both being A-listers and the flop seems even more pronounced. Damon couldn't afford another flop this year. All of his movies have done poorly. He may need to do like his buddy, Affleck, and get back behind the camera.

    Gran Torino was also rated R and included tougher subject matter, but it still made more money than the PG-13 Hereafter. Movies that critics love like Never Let Me Go and Conviction are doing awful while films like the $3 mil budget Paranormal Activity 2 and the $20 mil+ budget Jackass 3D make huge profits.

    Red was a smart move for Summit. The foreign pre-sales paid for the budget. That meant they only spent money on advertising which I've read was around $20 million. It's not like they needed the cash anyway. Their cow, The Twilight saga, keeps them flush with cash.