CATEGORIES New Releases, Box Office, Movie News, UK Box Office, New Releases, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeA slow-roll platform release is a high-risk strategy, but Paramount has really hit on something with Paranormal Activity. The movie expanded from 30 to 160 screens this weekend, accompanied by good reviews and hype that Paramount marketers almost killed themselves building on the internet, and was greeted with a $44,000 per-screen average, amounting to a fairly eye-popping $7 million weekend. It wouldn't have worked if the movie weren't pretty good, and the momentum is sure to fade as the movie expands further, but still: kudos all around. It would have been easy to dump this little gem into a few theaters and let it die (see: The Midnight Meat Train.)
The weekend's only new wide release, Couples Retreat, capitalized on its cast and bright-colored marketing to the tune of $35 million -- a strong October bow, and par for the course for Vince Vaughn, who can open a rom-com like nobody's business. Chris Rock's documentary Good Hair opened at 186 screens and lurks down at number 14 with just over a million bucks. I must admit it's hard to come up with a good analogy to a doc about black women's hair directed by a superstar comedian, box-office-wise. Maybe Dave Chappelle's Block Party? ($6.2 million on 1200 screens, with a similar per-screen average.)
The holdovers did respectably, with the possible exception of The Invention of Lying. Ricky Gervais's subversive comedy took a 52% hit, though it will still end up beating Gervais's last stateside star vehicle, Ghost Town. Zombieland, this fall's little horror comedy that could, held up quite well in second place, approaching $50 million after two weeks. And I wonder if Disney will hold true to its promise to pull the 3-D Toy Story double feature out of theaters after this week; the movies are still doing well, dropping less than 40% and pulling in $7.7 million in their second re-release weekend.
The full top 10 after the jump.
1 - Couples Retreat (Universal) - $35.34 ($11,780) - $35.34
2 - Zombieland (Sony) - $15.00 ($4,937) - $47.80
3 - Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Sony) - $12.00 ($4,011) - $96.25
4 - Toy Story / Toy Story 2 (Disney) - $7.67 ($4,380) - $22.68
5 - Paranormal Activity (Paramount) - $7.07 ($44,163) - $8.28
6 - Surrogates (Touchstone) - $4.12 ($1,375) - $32.57
7 - The Invention of Lying (Warner Bros.) - $3.37 ($1,933) - $12.33
8 - Whip It (Fox Searchlight) - $2.80 ($1,611) - $8.77
9 - Capitalism: A Love Story (Overture) - $2.70 ($2,714) - $9.10
10 - Fame (MGM) - $2.56 ($822) - $20.04
Next week: Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, and two genre film underdogs: Law Abiding Citizen and the remake of The Stepfather.