UPDATED: Weekend Box Office: Saw VI Falls Victim to Paranormal Activity; Paramount Hints at PA2

While it’s true that in most cases people root for the underdog, it’s still a bit hard to believe how dramatically Paranormal Activity toppled reigning October box office champ Saw‘s sixth installment. But numbers don’t lie, and although Saw VI is considered by many (including yours truly) to be the best entry in the series in quite some time, it still wasn’t enough to stop the little juggernaut that could, Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity.

**UPDATE:** To update Variety‘s weekend estimates, we got final numbers from Box Office Mojo: Paramount’s Paranormal Activity easily took down Saw VI in grossing $21,104,070 from 1,945 theaters to win the weekend and finish with an eye-popping cume of $61,580,588 in its fifth frame. Saw VI [which came in at #2] opened to $14,118,444 from 3,036 theaters–less than half the opening gross of the previous four films in the horror franchise. It also came in below the original Saw, which opened just north of $18 million.

Wow. Just wow.

**UPDATE:** The LA Times spoke with Paramount Chairman Brad Grey today, who said, “We have the rights on a worldwide basis to do ‘Paranormal 2’ and we’re looking to see if that makes some sense.” Grey believes the original is on track to gross more than $100 million domestically. That would make it the most profitable film for Paramount since he took over in 2005 and, quite possibly, in the studio’s history.

But lest they move too quickly, let’s not forget that producing follow-ups to low-cost movies that unexpectedly capture the nation’s attention can be difficult, however, making a “Paranormal” sequel a potentially perilous task for the studio. “Book of Shadows,” the 2000 follow-up to 1999’s indie horror phenomenon “The Blair Witch Project,” was very poorly received and grossed just $26.4 million domestically, compared to $140.6 million for the original.

Paranormal Activity's New Poster

As for Universal’s Halloween entry Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, [produced for $40 million, it] grossed $6,293,205 from 2,754 runs to place No. 7, just above The Stepfather at No. 8 with $6,230,969. Zombieland hung tough at No. 10, adding another $4,205,812 to its previous earnings for a total of $67,213,384.

The main competition next weekend will be from Michael Jackson and all his demons (we recommend The House of the Devil if its limited release brings it nearby), but the real action is on November 6th, when The Box, The Fourth Kind, and A Christmas Carol all face down this week’s champ … and each other.

Debi Moore

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  • click67

    Paranormal Activity fcking sucked PERIOD!!! I want a refund for the movie, oh wait I didn’t pay, I snuck in the theatre and watched as I have been doing for years now, screw MPAA and the theatres ridiculous prices, FREE IS THE WAY FOR ME!!
    Always has and always will!

    • Almost Obscure

      Wow… You sound like a huge idiot. A lot of people(including me) loved Paranormal Activity, so saying that “it fcking sucked PERIOD” is retarded. If so many people liked it, it cant be a fact that it sucked. Also, your the worst kind of horror fan. You don’t want to shell out $6.50 to someone who worked hard on making a movie to entertain you?

  • rupp30

    i don’t think a sequel will happen. there’s no way it could work.

    if they did though, i guarantee that katie and oren wouldn’t return for it.

    i agree with creepy, they need to use the money they’ve made with this film for funding more original films rather than make a sequel.


  • DeTuinman


    Saw this flick twice(both versions) and again we have a movie which is being hyped so much but delivers nothing.
    Cliched characters, bad acting, cliched actions (ouji boards?dont people in flicks watch other flicks?)etc, etc…
    Predictable, boring and NOT SCARY AT ALL!

    Flicks like Poughkeepsie tapes and Splinter did not get half of the hype and are superior in every way.
    They may not be original but both had more moments of terror, surprise and dread than this cheap movie…

    Poughkeepsie tapes being in the same realm (fake docs) is in my opinion the best of the bunch.
    Watch the scene where the serial killer kidnaps the little girl and you’ll wonder if you even want to see more of the film…
    Thats horror, a table cloth on a string is not.
    The mind is like a parachute…it only works when it is open.

    • doubleh55

      I feel as if you’re the only person with a positive response to the Poughkepsie Tapes.

      • DeTuinman

        It is a messed up flick…

        Some of the acting (journalists, cop’s, etc) is not great but overal this movie stuck in my mind.

        It took no compromise in it’s subject matter and the last couple of scene pack an unholy punch.
        I watch movies to view the things that are unknown, unreal or beyond me, it stimulates me.

        And this flick did just that…

        The mind is like a parachute…it only works when it is open.

    • TheFritz

      QUOTE: “The mind is like a parachute…it only works when it is open.”

      Perhaps not the best quote to use when being closed-minded.

      • DeTuinman

        Has nothing to do with being closed minded…
        As I rate The Antichrist far higher than this mainstream achievement.

        Name one thing in this flick that has not been done before better…
        These ghost flicks follow the same old story pattern, same old charcter actions, same old everything.
        The last ghost flick that was different and creepy, for me at leats, was Session 9.
        No shadows on walls, no bump in the dark shit…

        If you like/love this flick, taste differs and that’s an argument that will never be won…

        But disturbing and not disturbing…that’s something else.
        How about it Mister open mind?
        Did you enjoy The Antichrist?

        The mind is like a parachute…it only works when it is open.

        • TheFritz

          Ooo, looks like I hit a nerve!

          My comment is simply in the relation of your quote versus your comment. You’re spewing hate simply for hates sake, seemingly because other films that you thought were superior didn’t get as much attention as this film is. If that’s not jealousy, I don’t know what is.

          It’s really nice that you think other films did something ‘better’ or were more ‘creepy’, but each film deserves to be judged by it’s own merits, not by comparing it with something you, as an individual, liked more. The expression “apples and oranges” comes to mind; both are fruit and yet neither are the same. Do you get mad at an apple because it’s not acidic or an orange simply because you can’t bite through it’s rind? Nothing is truly original pal, even Shakespeare admitted that 400 years ago.

          But, in the truest spirit of debate, you’ve piqued my interest, since I haven’t seen either The Poughkeepsie Tapes or Splinter. I’m going to look for them today and I’ll let you know what I think of them both (without unfair comparison).

          And to answer your question; no, I haven’t seen Antichrist yet, but I can’t wait to!

          • DeTuinman


            “You’re spewing hate simply for hates sake, seemingly because other films that you thought were superior didn’t get as much attention as this film is. If that’s not jealousy, I don’t know what is.”

            This flick has been hyped as being ultra scary, one of the best horror flick in years, etc…it’s not, for me anyway.
            I,m happy that a genre flick is getting recognized by the mainstream and that it is getting succses.
            But mainstream audiences find a lot of things scary that lovers of extreme cinema find tepid.
            Because of the mainstream it is a succses…not because it is the scariest flick this year, although it has been hyped that it is.

            I have no problem with a small genre flick getting succses, even if I don’t like the movie.
            I have a problem with over-hyping…just friggin scare me.
            So there’s no hate, no jealousy…just my humble(ahem)opinion…

            Curious what you think of Poughkeepsie Tapes vs PA…

            The mind is like a parachute…it only works when it is open.

  • elric300

    I just wish it were for a more interesting film. I’m very happy that a little low budget horror film is coming out of almost nowhere and raking in big bucks. But, frankly, the movie bored me.

    Congratulations to all involved, though.

    And SERIOUSLY. After seeing what was done with BLAIR WAITCH, I would really just let this play out. Artisan hired out the wrong guys to do a horror film,took BW’s mythology and did nothing with it..the list goes on.

    This one doesn’t seem to have a mythology to pin more story on. I’d take the money, thank the fans, and move on to bigger things.

  • Terminal

    A sequel? Oh come on, Paramount.

  • Sirand

    We were all waiting for the next big movie to come along and show Hollywood the value original films over remakes. I think Paranormal Activity is horror’s “knight in shining armor.” It deserves every bit of its success and more.

    I almost feel sorry for Saw VI, since the creative team put their best foot forward and delivered a good film for once.

  • PelusaMG

    On word of mouth alone, PA will always beat Saw… I mean, how many people groan when you tell them there’s a Saw Vi out, versus the genuine excitement generated by this creepy, scary, terrifying little indie flick called Paranormal Activity?

  • Uncle Creepy

    Allow me to address Paramount’s Brad Grey who said regarding a sequel “we’re looking to see if that makes some sense.”.

    No, it doesn’t. Let this one fly and be as happy as you should be. Give the money you’d use for a sequel to fund more original films. A sequel, much like Book of Shadows did for BWP could hurt this film much more than help it. Be wise!

    That being said considering we have been this flick’s #1 cheerleader for over two years, championing it when hardly anyone else was even talking about it, and keeping it on our readers minds even when nothing was going on with it, this is a surreal moment for us all. Being with it from the beginning and seeing it through to becoming the #1 movie in the Country is just amazing.

    Congrats to Oren, Katie, Micah, and Paramount!

    • TheFritz

      If it weren’t for DreadCentral I’d have never heard of this little gem, so you all have my boundless thanks for sharing the wealth.

      You should be very proud, but also I hope you realize the power that genuine information portals like this have. DC’s not simply mouthpieces of the establishment (like the gawdawful fearnet.com), rather you share information as well as interact with your community on a regular basis.

      So give yourself a much deserved pat on the back and keep on flexing that communication muscle, and we’ll keep coming back for more!

      (Now where did I put my DC cheerleader outfit?) 😉

      • LifeMi

        I second this. I would’ve never seen this or countless other horror films like The Signal or the original April Fool’s Day were it not for you guys. Congrats!

    • AriesofPitt

      Well said!

    • FilmCritic3000


      For all of you here at DC, this must feel like a little baby bird’s left the nest and taken flight. You guys were the loudest champions of this film and to see it permeate our culture, our society’s consciousness, and to be the #1 movie at the box office this weekend, it must bring a tear to the eye, in a manner of speaking.

      I saw it last night at a sold-out (as many of them were) 11:40PM showing and creep me out it did. It was exactly as unsettling, freaky, disturbing, and haunting as you’ve said. I did like the ending more than the original, though the third different ending may have been a bit more unnerving. YMMV, of course.

      • doubleh55

        Ok, can we stop with the self congratulations? 🙂

  • Rottenjesus

    Paranormal Activity 2? NO.

  • Didn’t See It Coming

    Haven’t seen a movie that deserved it more in years…

  • TheFritz

    Regardless of whether or not SAW 6 is any good, the outpouring of enthusiasm for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY has more to do with over-saturation of the market.

    Think about it; for the last few years horror fans have nothing BUT the lousy SAW films to go see in theaters, since Hollywood is chicken-shit incarnate and won’t even attempt to go head to head with a franchise.

    Myself, along with an estimated $22 million worth of horror fans are simply exorcising their freedom of choice, since this year they actually have one.

    Kudos to Oren Peli and the fans that participated in DEMAND IT to prove to Paramount that there’s more to entertainment than remakes and sequels!

    • FilmCritic3000

      Gitesh Pandya, proprietor of boxofficeguru.com, surmised – hopefully correctly – that “Paranormal Activity”‘s monster success may open the floodgates for other studios to wake up, smell the coffee, and start scheduling more horror films to be released up in October, i.e. that the “Saw” franchise isn’t totally indestructible.

      • Nomad

        I’m hoping it opens the flood gates for studios to release indie films across the globe, when they are new, so fans can join in on the excitement the industry is showing toward the film at that time.

        • TheFritz

          I couldn’t have said it better myself Nomad. The single reason I’ve been such a blow-hard about PA isn’t because I think it’s the greatest movie ever made, but because the unbridled success of an indy film, specifically one released by a major studio, proves the point that there’s a genuine market for independent films.

          Therefore, maybe Hollywood will stop remaking everything under the sun (especially brilliant foreign films like REC and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN) and release films made by film-makers instead of committees.

          That’s why I’m such a huge cheerleader for this film; because it champions originality and artist’s vision. It’s time to take film-making out of producers pockets and give it back to the artists that create them.