‘Argo’ Claims First Place during Slow Frame

on October 28, 2012 by Daniel Garris

Warner's Argo continued to hold up nicely this weekend and in the process moved into first place with an estimated $12.36 million. The awards season hopeful directed by and starring Ben Affleck was down just 25 percent from last weekend, which represented the second straight strong weekend hold for the film. With none of this weekend's four new wide releases making a significant impact, Argo became the top choice for moviegoers over the slow frame. Thanks in part to strong holding power Argo is exceeding expectations with a 17-day take of $60.78 million. The film is currently running a slim 5 percent behind the $64.06 million 17-day performance of 2010's The Town, which fell 38 percent in its third weekend to gross $9.75 million.

Fellow Warner Bros. film Cloud Atlas was the weekend's top new release, but still had a very disappointing debut with an estimated third place take of $9.4 million. The pricey film from the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer opened below expectations, which had already been scaled back in part from the film being released in a relatively modest 2,008 locations. Given its production budget, which wasn't handled by Warner Bros., Cloud Atlas will obviously need to perform far stronger internationally. Cloud Atlas opened 49 percent softer than the $18.56 million debut of 2008's Speed Racer. After opening with $3.42 million on Friday, the film registered an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.75 to 1. That isn't a good sign going forward and neither is the film's C+ rating on CinemaScore.

The audience breakdown for Cloud Atlas was split fairly evenly between genders (51 percent male, 49 percent female) and skewed heavily towards moviegoers over 25 (77 percent). Cloud Atlas grossed an estimated $1.13 million from 105 IMAX locations, which represented 12 percent of the film's overall weekend gross.

The weekend's other high profile release, Open Road's Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, was off to a lackluster start with an estimated $8.0 million. That currently places the 3D horror sequel in a tie for fifth place this weekend with Fox's Taken 2. Silent Hill: Revelation opened a disappointing 60 percent softer than the $20.15 million debut of 2006's Silent Hill (which didn't have the aid of higher priced 3D admissions). Clearly, a wait of more than six years between films didn't help matters for the franchise. Especially troubling for Silent Hill: Revelation 3D was that the film was quite front-loaded this weekend. After opening with $3.55 million on Friday, the film was only able to register an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.25 to 1. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D received a C rating on CinemaScore.

Hotel Transylvania took second place this weekend with an estimated $9.5 million. Sony's computer animated blockbuster was down 27 percent, as continued strong word of mouth and Halloween weekend both aided the film over the frame. Hotel Transylvania continues to exceed expectations with a 31-day take of $130.44 million and is now just $19.56 million away from reaching the $150 million mark. However, the film will likely begin to lose momentum much faster next weekend once Halloween is behind us and with the debut of Disney's Wreck-It Ralph on Friday.

The news wasn't as good for Paramount's Paranormal Activity 4. The fourth installment of the low-budget horror franchise was down a massive 70 percent to gross an estimated $8.68 million. That placed the film in fourth place for the frame. After an already softer than expected start last weekend, the Paranormal Activity franchise has clearly lost a lot of its box office luster with its fourth installment. With a ten-day take of $42.63 million, Paranormal Activity 4 is currently running 35 percent behind the $65.67 million ten-day start of 2010's Paranormal Activity 2, which fell 59 percent in its second weekend to gross $16.51 million.

Paranormal Activity 4 does continue to perform relatively stronger internationally, where it grossed $14.1 million from 45 foreign territories this weekend.  That brings the film's international total to $48.3 million and worldwide haul to $90.9 million.

This weekend's two lower profile wide releases both had a very tough time. Paramount's Fun Size debuted in tenth with an estimated $4.06 million, while Fox's Chasing Mavericks debuted all the way down in 13th place with $2.2 million. Fun Size and Chasing Mavericks delivered respective per-location averages of just $1,347 and $1,099. Both films debuted below their already low pre-release expectations.

Tags: Chasing Mavericks, Fun Size, Paranormal Activity 4, Hotel Transylvania, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, Cloud Atlas, Argo

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