Paranormal Activity 3 Shatters Records at the Box Office

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The box office has been in a slump for several weeks, and horror offerings in particular have been DOA for months. That all changed this weekend when Paranormal Activity 3 not only officially staked its claim as the new reigning king of the Halloween box office, it became the biggest horror movie opening of all time.

For a while there the Saw films were marketed with the line “If it’s Halloween, it must be Saw”. Even if Jigsaw hadn’t been put out to pasture last year, I do believe that promotional phrase would have needed to be amended to “…it must be Paranormal Activity”.

The third installment in the low budget, found footage spook show franchise scared up a tremendous $54 million this weekend. Not only is that the biggest opening weekend of any movie in months, Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood reports the threequel from Catfish directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost also broke the record for October movie openings, and according to Paramount Paranormal Activity 3 can now lay claim to garnering the highest grossing opening weekend of any horror movie ever (until someone crunches the numbers to adjust for inflation). Including international audiences, the worldwide box office take is already up to $80 million on a film whose budget is probably akin to what the catering bill will be on that $200 million Lone Ranger movie Disney is about to produce.

Somewhere Oren Peli is time lapse filming himself rolling around naked in piles of cash. I do not want to see that found footage.

Meanwhile the producers of The Thing, much like the film’s setting, are left out in the cold. Slipping all the way down to 9th place, $3.1 million was all it could muster. It has thus far barely made $14 million total. Somewhere John Carpenter is taking a few moments from playing video games and smoking pot to cackle with glee.

And though it is not a horror movie per se, considering it comes to us from the husband and wife duo behind the Resident Evil movies, and who doesn’t enjoy kicking a corpse, might as well mention the misfortunes of Paul W.S. Anderson’s steampunk reimagining of The Three Musketeers. It only took in $8.8 million, and that’s doubly disappointing considering the inflated 3D ticket prices. Word is the movie isn’t doing that great internationally either.

The more amusing aspect of this story came Friday when co-star Milla Jovovich, who is currently up in Canada filming the newest Resident Evil film with her husband-director Paul W.S. Anderson, blasted Summit Entertainment for not marketing Three Musketeers properly as “fun family entertainment” and tweeted that all Summit cares about right now is their Twilight cash cow. Nikki Finke contacted Summit and got the following response to Jovovich’s criticisms: “(She’s) working 15-hour days and probably didn’t see the campaign. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about, and we don’t know where she’s coming from.”

I have to side with Summit on this one. Commercials for The Three Musketeers have been inescapable the past two weeks – ugh. Maybe audiences were turned off by previews for a Three Musketeers movie that mostly featured a woman in a corset doing slow motion sword fu and flying blimps shooting exploding cannonballs. You know what? Maybe she is right after all. Summit clearly mismarketed Three Musketeers by actually showing footage from it in the trailers.

It should be interesting to see if this kerfuffle in any way adversely impacts Paul W.S. Anderson’s next movie to be produced by Summit, the $100 million historical disaster epic Pompeii, which I can only presume will climax with Milla Jovovich outrunning the volcanic blast using parkour.

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  • doctor_sapirstein

    I just don’t understand how Paul W. S. Anderson keeps getting work. He’s like a slightly more competent Uwe Boll.

  • theGoldenSimatar

    Aint seen Paranormal Activity 1 or 2 yet so haven’t seen 3 either; found footage films and ghost films are always hit and miss with me. I’ll see them eventually, but dunno about heading out to the movie theater to watch them.

    Instead I saw 3 Musketeers…if you’re in the mood for just a film that’s pure cotton candy; thats what it is. According to BoxOfficeMojo Musketeers has done about $50million everywhere else; since it seems that the film was independently produced ($75million production budget) and then sold to distributors…really only the distributors would lose money depending on P&A.

    I’m more sad that The Thing hasn’t done well; not a perfect film but I would still put it on the upper end of quality remakes.

    • LSD Zombie

      I would put The Thing remake in the Walmart bargain bin and set it ablaze. Another redundant remake that offers no memorable scenes and flat characters whose names I can’t even remember. And why the fuck did they put JC’s score in the end credits sequence instead of throughout the entire film?! If I remember correctly, Rob Zombie did the same with the Halloween remake. It’s fucking pointless.