Paramount reports that Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones drew an estimated $8.74 million opening day yesterday. That figure includes Thursday night's $1.2 million jump start on the weekend. Based on these figures, BoxOffice projects the horror franchise spin-off will take in $17.5 million for its opening weekend. By comparison, The Marked Ones posted 42 percent less opening day business than 2012's Paranormal Activity 4 ($15.11 million toward a $29 million opening frame).
Paramount's strategy of appealing to Latino crowds only partly paid off this weekend. Chalk it up to several factors, including the crowded holiday holdover slate, declining interest in the over-exposed franchise, and a glut of horror flicks over the past year. The good news for Paramount is that the low $5 million production budget for The Marked Ones means the film will easily be profitable after domestic and overseas earnings are accounted for. Still, the film's early word of mouth appears mixed with 66 percent of Flixster users approving of or still anticipating the film (down from 80 percent entering Friday). Critical response has been fairly poor with a 45 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.
Unfortunately for Paramount, The Marked Ones will not claim the top spot this weekend and will instead be in a close race with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for second place, the latter having grossed $5.12 million on Friday. Peter Jackson's Middle-earth prequel-sequel has amassed $218.5 million domestically so far and will relinquish the top spot after three weeks with a projected $17 million weekend.
Disney's Frozen, which earned another $6.75 million in second place on Friday, will recapture first place with a projected $22.5 million in its sixth weekend of wide release--representing the third best ever (behind Avatar's $34.9 million and Titanic's $25.2 million). The animated phenom is on pace to surpass Disney/Pixar's Up ($293 million domestic) as the highest grossing non-sequel animation since 2003's Finding Nemo next week.
The Wolf of Wall Street banked $4.31 million yesterday and should bring in $13.7 million for its sophomore weekend. The controversial drama from Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio is certainly finding its audience with a $54.2 million domestic haul through its first ten days.
American Hustle continues to ride its awards buzz to solid box office success. David O. Russell's ensemble dramedy grabbed $4.17 million yesterday to boost its total cume to $79.69 million. BoxOffice is projecting a $13.5 million weekend.
Last but not least, Paramount's Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues crossed the $100 million benchmark on Friday with $3.9 million. The sequel's total earnings are $101.98 million through 17 days of release. Look for a $12 million third weekend for the Will Ferrell comedy.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris