Pundits Need More Esp As Pa4 Debuts Below Forecasts

Paranormal Activity 4 didn't even come close to selling as many tickets over the weekend as box office pundits had predicted. Most of them had forecast on Friday that the movie would earn $50-55 million. But final figures from Paramount disclosed on Monday that it earned $29 million, far less than the last installment of the franchise, which took in $52.57 million or the previous one, which earned $40.68 million. (The first film was originally released in just 12 theaters and did not go wide until its 4th week, when it grossed $19.62 million on just 760 screens.) The stand-out performer over the weekend was Warner Bros.' Argo, which dropped just 15 percent  to $16.45 million from its opening a week earlier. After 10 days, the Ben Affleck film has earned $43.01 million. Taken 2 also remained a solid performer, raking in $13.26 million and putting it over the $100-million mark in its third week to $105.83 million. The strong showings by the top films help propel the box office to its fourth straight week in positive territory, coming in 10.6 percent higher than it did in the comparable weekend a year ago, when Paranormal Activity 3 got off to an explosive start but had little help from other releases.



The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):
1. Paranormal Activity 4, Paramount, $29,003,866, (New); 2. Argo, Warner Bros., $16,445,475, 2 Wks. ($43,011,964); 3. Taken 2, Fox, $13,260,870, 3 Wks. ($105,832,339); 4. Hotel Transylvania, Sony/Columbia, $13,001,434, 4 Wks. ($118,522,389); 5. Alex Cross, Lionsgate/Summit, $11,396,768, (New); 6. Sinister, Lionsgate/Summit, $8,815,475, 2 Wks. ($31,735,643); 7. Here Comes the Boom, Sony/Columbia, $8,407,201, 2 Wks. ($23,131,529); 8. Pitch Perfect, Universal, $6,756,430, 4 Wks. ($45,516,778); 9. Frankenweenie, Disney, $4,329,358, 3 Wks. ($28,238,779); 10. Looper, Sony/Tristar/Film District, $4,202,687, 4 Wks. ($57,842,819).





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