Paramount had a big weekend as its Paranormal Activity 2 and Jackass 3D took the top two spots at the box office.

$40.68 Million Start for ‘Paranormal Activity 2’

on October 25, 2010 by Daniel Garris

Paramount shattered pre-release expectations in a big way for a second straight weekend, this time with the better than expected debut of Paranormal Activity 2. While it didn't quite reach the same heights that Jackass 3D did last weekend, Paranormal Activity 2 wasn't far behind with an opening weekend take of $40.68 million. The performance of Paranormal Activity 2 may have been the more impressive of the two, given that it carried a production budget of only $3 million. Without taking into account ticket price inflation, Paranormal Activity 2 delivered the largest debut ever for a horror sequel or remake (just topping the $40.57 million start of 2009's Friday the 13th) and the fifth largest debut ever for the month of October.

Paranormal Activity 2 performed well with all demographics, but was especially strong with moviegoers under 25, as that demo accounted for 61 percent of its audience this weekend. Strong appeal with moviegoers under 25 was also a key driving force for Jackass 3D last weekend. Paranormal Activity 2 performed 107 percent stronger than the first Paranormal Activity did during its first weekend of major release. However, it should be noted that Paranormal Activity 2 played in more than four times as many locations and that Paranormal Activity had already grossed $13.55 million before its first major weekend of release. Paranormal Activity 2 was extremely front-loaded this weekend with Friday's opening day gross of $20.11 million making up 49 percent of its weekend total (though it should be noted that the percentage is inflated a bit from the film's strong midnight start of $6.3 million).

On the international front, Paranormal Activity 2 grossed $22.0 million from 21 foreign markets. Key debuts included $6.3 million in the United Kingdom, $2.7 million in Australia, $2.5 million in France, $1.9 million in Mexico and $1.8 million in Russia.

Jackass 3D tumbled by 58 percent this weekend, but still finished with a very strong second place take of $21.31 million. After holding up fairly well during the midweek for a film of its size, Jackass 3D understandably lost some momentum this weekend in the face of the break-out performance of Paranormal Activity 2. With that said, Jackass 3D has already grossed an extremely impressive $86.86 million in ten days, placing it 67 percent ahead of the pace of 2006's Jackass Number Two (which fell 50 percent in its second weekend of release). Jackass 3D has already out-grossed Jackass Number Two and is set to reach the $100 million mark sometime next weekend.

Summit's Red held up especially well this weekend as it was down only 31 percent from last weekend. The action-comedy starring Bruce Willis grossed $15.03 million in its second weekend of release to finish in third and has now grossed a better than expected $43.52 million through ten days of release. Red was positioned to serve as an alternative to Jackass 3D and Paranormal Activity 2 and has been able to do so in a big way. By this time next week Red should rank as the second highest grossing non-Twilight film in Summit's history (behind only 2009's Knowing).

After a solid week in platform release Warner's Hereafter was off to a modest (albeit expectedly so) start in wide release this weekend. The Clint Eastwood directed film starring Matt Damon opened with $12.02 million. While Hereafter delivered a respectable per-location average of $5,510 million, it was only able to register a C+ grade on CinemaScore. That could be an early sign that the film won't hold up as well as many of Eastwood's previous efforts as a director, especially once we reach November. Hereafter had almost no appeal with younger audiences, as a whopping 80 percent of its audience was over 30. The film's total gross currently stands at $12.33 million.

Holdovers throughout the rest of the top ten were very strong this weekend with films five through ten falling anywhere from 23 percent to 34 percent. Sony's The Social Network finished in fifth with $7.28 million (down 29 percent), Disney's Secretariat finished closely behind in sixth with $7.00 million (down 25 percent) and Warner's Life as We Know It took seventh with $6.14 million (down 31 percent). Respective cumes stand at $72.91 million for The Social Network, $37.44 million for Secretariat and $37.60 million for Life as We Know It. Though there is only one wide release set for next weekend (Lionsgate's Saw 3D), holds likely won't be as strong as a result of Halloween falling during the weekend.

While it hasn't been a force domestically for a while now, Universal's Despicable Me is currently a major box office presence internationally. The computer animated film grossed $19.8 million from 39 foreign markets this weekend, bringing its international total to $198.1 million. With a domestic total of $247.5 million, the film's worldwide total currently stands at an impressive $445.6 million.

Additional reporting by Phil Contrino.

Tags: Despicable Me, Life as We Know It, Secretariat, The Social Network, Hereafter, Red, Jackass 3D, Paranormal Activity 2

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