Hear that? It’s Paranormal Activity 4 screaming “Boo!” at the rest of the box office competition. As predicted, the latest in the beloved horror franchise topped the weekend box office with $30.2 million. That number is lower than the debut postings of the franchise’s previous two outings, Paranormal Activity 3 and Paranormal Activity 2, which scared up $52.6 million and $40.7 million, respectively. Still, its latest take at the box office helped it finish atop the popular Hotel Transylvania and Taken 2 (No. 3 and 4) and adds to the franchise’s impressive cume, which has now surpassed $600 million between the four films. And the numbers bode well for the box office in general — the industry has experienced four “up” weekends in a row compared to the comparable timeframe in 2011.
The weekend’s other new showing, Alex Cross scored in the low teens, as expected, with $11.75 million and a No. 5 finish following spotty reviews. But audience members loved the movie, handing the film — which sees stars Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox playing against type — an A on CinemaScore. Perhaps rumors of a sequel may come true after all?
Oscar and audience buzz remains strong for Ben Affleck’s Iranian hostage crisis film Argo, which finished in second place with $16.6 million and a total cume to date of $43.1 million. Incredibly strong and ongoing word-of-mouth is reflected in the minuscule 15% second weekend drop which is the best non-holiday drop for a live action release.