Michael Jackson's This is It was the only new wide release this weekend, and essentially had the box office to itself. This may seem weird, but this is as it should be -- and it has more to do with Halloween falling on a Saturday than with any show of respect for the King of Pop. Predictably, This is It won the weekend, grossing $21.3 million for a total of $32.5 million since its Wednesday opening. That's a good number, and monumental for a documentary, though it is also an instance where the studio's hype machine may have led people astray.

Those who read the breathless press releases about the trumped-up advance ticket sales frenzy surrounding This Is It may be disappointed (or in any case surprised) by these figures. But over $30 million in five days for a concert documentary is nothing to sneeze at -- and I don't think that expecting much more was reasonable. (As a footnote, too, the movie made nearly $70 million outside of North America -- which also makes sense.)

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
bowed on 68 screens and grossed just under half a million in 16th place, which isn't bad, really -- confirming the small cult following for Boondock Saints that everyone already knew existed. Among holdovers, Paranormal Activity continued to add screens, and continued to hold up well -- it should break $100 million by this time next week. Saw VI and Where the Wild Things Are both suffered drops over 60%; Wild Things will top out around $70 million (pretty good for an art film), while Saw VI will wind up making around (or just over) half of the next lowest grosser in the franchise. Will the next one go straight to DVD? (Probably not, but it might be time to start asking the question.)

The full top 10 after the jump.


1 - Michael Jackson's This is It (Sony) - $21.30 ($6,519) - $32.51
2 - Paranormal Activity (Paramount) - $16.54 ($6,880) - $84.78
3 - Law Abiding Citizen (Overture) - $7.30 ($2,642) - $51.40
4 - Couples Retreat (Universal) - $6.10 ($2,015) - $86.66
5 - Saw VI (Lionsgate) - $5.56 ($1,831) - $22.82
6 - Where the Wild Things Are (Warner Bros.) - $5.08 ($1,394) - $61.80
7 - The Stepfather (Screen Gems) - $3.40 ($1,449) - $24.75
8 - Astro Boy (Summit) - $3.04 ($1,005) - $10.89
9 - Amelia (Fox Searchlight) - $3.00 ($2,804) - $8.31
10 - Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (Universal) - $2.81 ($1,020) - $10.52


Next week: a busy weekend to make up for this slow one. The Fourth Kind and The Box add more horror to the mix, competing against likely winner A Christmas Carol, while The Men Who Stare at Goats goes after the adults.