Whether in part due to “FrankenStorm” about to hit the East Coast or the simple fact the four new releases couldn’t garner enough interest, this Halloween weekend seemed tremendously slow in general, and shockingly slow for horror films.
Ben Affleck’s Argo took the top spot in its third week, which is the first film to do so since 2010’s remake of True Grit, with $12.1 million. With consistently strong word-of-mouth and Oscar potential, Argo had remained at the number two spot for two weeks up until this weekend, out-performing many newcomers and continually receiving critical praise and audience approval.
In a distant second place is Cloud Atlas, Andy and Lana Wachowski’s latest opus (with the help of Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer), which ended its weekend with $9.6 million. The film definitely sets itself away from the typical movie, but is far less accessible than The Matrix for the typical audience. Sure, touting stars such as Tom Hanks and Halle Berry helped, but, with an R-rating, a near-three-hour running time, and a near-indescribable plot (at least one that wasn’t obvious in the trailers), Atlas should be grateful for what it got — especially since early estimates showed it with a lower weekend total and in third place.
Halloween-themed films Hotel Transylvania ($9.4 million), Paranormal Activity 4 ($8.5 million), and Silent Hill: Revelation ($8 million) took third, fourth, and fifth places respectively.
Transylvania is very close to beating The Smurfs’ $142 million total and becoming Sony Pictures Animation’s highest-grossing film. However, with Disney’s highly-anticipated Wreck-It Ralph coming out next Friday, Hotel Transylvania may be seeing some vacancies soon.
Paranormal Activity 4 took a severe 71% drop from last week, putting its 10-day total at $42.5 million, putting it vastly behind Paranormal 3’s total at the same time frame last year. At this rate, the fourth film will more than likely be the lowest-grossing installment of the franchise.
On the other end of the spectrum, second newcomer Silent Hill: Revelation grossed well under half of the original’s opening grosses six years ago. To make matters worse, the original did not have a 3D release like Revelation, making these totals even less impressive. With waning interest in horror video game adaptations, and virtually no interest in the this particular video game brand, it’s probably safe to say there will be no third outing to Silent Hill.
Alex Cross dropped three spots to eighth place, earning $5.1 million in its second weekend, making its grand total a dismal $19.5 million. Seeing the dismal performance here, it may cause producers QED to cease talks on the planned sequel.
Things were ghastly for the other two newcomers this weekend. Halloween comedy Fun Size certainly lived up to its title with a paltry $4.1 million in tenth place, making this the worst opening for Nickelodeon Films, and proving that tween TV stars like Victoria Justice and Jane Levy will not always translate into film grosses.
However, the worst opening this weekend belonged to Chasing Mavericks, which wiped out in thirteenth place at $2.3 million. This is even lower than Fox/Walden’s Won’t Back Down earlier this Fall. It’s estimated by box office analysts the film will earn a grand total of $5 million before the end of its theatrical run, making it star Gerard Butler’s lowest grossing major release.