Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Weekend Box Office: The only activity is Paranormal

On the strength of a clever viral marketing campaign—and a good modern-day haunted-house hook—the first Paranormal Activity netted over $100 million domestically on a $15,000 production budget. (Yes, the studio spent several times that money touching it up and advertising it, but still, a handsome profit.) But take a cursory glance at comment boards and aggregate review sites and you’ll see a polarized response to the original, with seemingly no guarantee that the masses would turn out for more. In that respect, the $41.5 million brought in by Paranormal Activity 2 over the weekend counts as a major surprise, especially since the film more or less repeats the formula that so divided people the first time around. Then again, the film was given an unusually wide berth: Only Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter, expanding to multiplexes after opening in big-city arthouses last week, offered any competition, and its modest $12 million didn’t post much of a threat. Like all horror films, second week grosses stand to drop sharply, particularly with the Saw franchise coughing up another entry on Friday, but with a $3 million budget—$2.95 million of which appears to have gone up the producer’s nose—Paranormal Activity 2 is already a massive hit, and the series looks to keep going long after its creative life is exhausted.

No news on movies in limited release. For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.

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