Paramount's Paranormal Activity 3 exceeded its already lofty expectations to lead this weekend's box office with absolute ease. The anticipated low-budget horror sequel opened with $52.57 million, which represented the largest opening weekend ever for the month of October (topping the $50.35 million debut of Paramount's Jackass 3D last year). Paranormal Activity 3 also generated one the largest starts ever for a horror film, though whether or not it was the largest of all-time depends if you classify 2002's Signs ($60.1 million) and 2001's Hannibal ($58.0 million) in the horror genre or not.
Paranormal Activity 3 opened an impressive 29 percent stronger than the $40.68 million start of last year's Paranormal Activity 2 and with a production budget of just $5 million, will obviously go down as one of the year's most profitable films. The film skewed towards female moviegoers (54 percent) and moviegoers under 25 (53 percent) and had more four-quadrant appeal than Paranormal Activity 2 did last year.
Internationally, Paranormal Activity 3 grossed $26.0 million from 42 foreign territories this weekend. Key grosses included $5.8 million in the United Kingdom and Ireland, $3.2 million in Australia, $2.9 million in Russia, $2.8 million in France and $2.0 million in Mexico.
Disney's Real Steel finished in a distant second place with $10.82 million. The pricey DreamWorks film fell 34 percent from last weekend, as it likely received an added boost this weekend both from turn-aways from Paranormal Activity 3 and from family audiences that wanted to catch the film before Paramount's Puss in Boots hits the marketplace this coming Friday. Real Steel has grossed $66.73 million in 17 days, placing it 5 percent behind the pace of 2008's Eagle Eye. Internationally, Real Steel grossed $18.5 million from 32 territories this weekend, placing its international total at $86.1 million and worldwide total at $152.8 million.
Footloose followed closely behind in third with $10.35 million. The dance film remake from Paramount fell a healthy 33 percent from last weekend's softer than expected debut. Strong word of mouth helped bring in moviegoers who may have been on the fence about seeing the film last weekend, while turn-aways from Paranormal Activity 3 also likely helped out Footloose a bit this weekend as well. Footloose has grossed a respectable $30.36 million in ten days and will hope to continue to hold up well going forward. Internationally, Footloose grossed $1.8 million from 10 territories this weekend, placing its international total at $6.0 million and worldwide total at $36.4 million.
It was tough going for this weekend's other two wide releases, as Summit's The Three Musketeers and Universal's Johnny English Reborn both failed to live up to their already modest domestic expectations. The Three Musketeers opened in fourth with $8.67 million, while Johnny English Reborn debuted all the way down in eighth with just $3.83 million. Unlike Real Steel and Footloose, The Three Musketeers and Johnny English Reborn apparently were unable to attract much spill-over audience from Paranormal Activity 3.
However, the international performances for both Johnny English Reborn and The Three Musketeers (which had both already opened internationally prior to this weekend) have been a completely different story thus far. In fact, there is a legitimate chance that when everything is said and done, the international order of finish between this weekend's three wide releases could be the exact reverse of their domestic order of finish. This weekend Johnny English Reborn grossed $13.5 million from 44 international territories (including debuts of $1.0 million in France and $0.9 million in Mexico), placing its international total at $104.5 million. Heading into this weekend, The Three Musketeers had already grossed $48.2 million internationally.
Follow @DanielBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional box office updates.