'Paranormal Activity' Conquers North American Box Office

'Paranormal Activity' Conquers North American Box Office

The low-budgeted film from writer/director Oren Peli takes over the chart's #1 slot in its second week of wide release, and denies 'Saw VI' of the crowned position.
Continually climbing the North American box office since its limited release on September 25, "Paranormal Activity" has finally reached the crowned #1 spot. With the expansion from 863 theaters to 1,945 this weekend, the micro-budgeted movie has managed to cash in $21.1 million worth of ticket sales.

While this horror sensation is yet to match the success of the 1999's "The Blair Witch Project", it is already on the path to be one of the highest grossing entries in its sub-genre. It has already surpassed the final tallies of "White Noise" and "The Haunting in Connecticut". So far, "Paranormal" has raked in as much as $61.6 million.

In a phone interview, Hollywood.com's analyst Paul Dergarabedian gave his comment on the movie winning the top slot. "You knew that once this film got a shot at more theaters it would do well," he said. "And it was made for about $15,000, which is probably the champagne budget at many summer blockbusters."

As the movie continued its impressive run, words are flying in that Paramount is eying to give it a sequel treatment. To the Los Angeles Times, the studio chairman Brad Grey expressed the desire, saying "We have the rights on a worldwide basis to do Paranormal 2 and we're looking to see if that makes some sense."

Back on the box office report, "Paranormal" stellar performance outperformed "Saw VI", forcing it to settle for the second place. The sixth movie of the horror thriller series opened to a disappointing $14.1 million, which marked the worst opening in the "Saw" franchise's history. Dergarabedian stated that the first five films had an average opening weekend of $29.1 million, and the previous low was the first film with $18.3 million.

While disappointed on the box office run for the movie that offers deathly traps to unsuspecting victims, Lionsgate executive vice president of distribution, David Spitz still pointed out on the positive the franchise has brought to the studio. "The opening was definitely below industry expectations, but 'Saw' is still the highest-grossing horror franchise in history," he claimed.

Slipping to third place from the throne was "Where the Wild Things Are". In its second week in theaters, the adaptation of Maurice Sendak children's book suffered a 57.1% drop in ticket sales and thus reeled in $14 million. Still, its total of $53.6 million showed that it is performing far better than what the industry had expected.

Rounding up the top five were "Law Abiding Citizen" and "Couples Retreat". The action thriller, "Law", slipped to fourth with $12.4 million, while Vince Vaughn's comedy "Retreat" dropped to fifth as it collected $10.6 million after three weekends in theaters across the country.

Top Ten Movies at Box Office for October 23 - 25:
  1. "Paranormal Activity" - $21.1 million
  2. "Saw VI" - $14.1 million
  3. "Where the Wild Things Are" - $14 million
  4. "Law Abiding Citizen" - $12.4 million
  5. "Couples Retreat" - $10.6 million
  6. "Astro Boy" - $6.7 million
  7. "The Vampire's Assistant" - $6.3 million
  8. "The Stepfather" - $6.2 million
  9. "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" - $5.3 million
  10. "Zombieland" - $4.2 million

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