Paranormal Activity 3 has scared the North American box office out of its over two-month slump with a whopping $26.2 million opening day.
Coming off $8 million alone from midnight openings early Friday morning, Paranormal Activity 3 scored the best single-day opening since Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 exploded back in late July with a $90.1 million opening day. Paranormal Activity 2, for comparison, had a $20.1 million opening day.
The trick for Paranormal Activity 3 will be not to drop like a rock after its first couple days in theaters. Horror films are especially susceptible to being front-loaded. Without another Saw installment to compete for Halloween weekend bucks, Paranormal Activity 3 could see another surge in business next weekend and cross the $100 million mark.
If Paranormal Activity 3 can hold relatively steady and reach the $50 million mark through Sunday, everything else will be gravy for Paramount considering the film cost a mere $5 million to produce.
The other newcomers didn’t fare as well as Paranormal Activity 3 on their opening days. Summit’s The Three Musketeers in 3D brought in $2.9 million in business, good enough for fourth place overall, which guarantees it will not reach a $10 million opening weekend. Faring worse was Johnny English Reborn with Rowan Atkinson reprising the bumbling detective. It only managed $1.1 million in its first 24 hours.
Both films, however, have been playing overseas already and are performing better elsewhere than in North America. Johnny English Reborn is at $85.1 million in international business, while The Three Musketeers is at $49 million.
Footloose danced its way into second place with $3.5 million on Friday, a roughly 36% drop from its opening day a week ago. It should wrap the weekend somewhere between $9 and $10 million.
Real Steel behind Hugh Jackman and CGI boxing robots only slipped 31% in its third weekend with $3.1 million, good enough for third. Fifth went to George Clooney’s The Ides of March with $1.5 million.
Be sure to stop back tomorrow to find out if Paranormal Activity 3 was able to reach the $50 million plateau, or if it dropped off on Sunday after such a strong midnight opening and first day.