A week before Halloween, audiences worldwide fell for Paramount’s cheap scare tactic — “Paranormal Activity 2” cost just $3 million to make and grossed more than $60 million globally over the Oct. 22-24 weekend.
Internationally, the sequel took in $22.3 million from 21 day-and-date markets, including Australia, France, Mexico and the U.K., which repped the pic’s highest-grossing territory, with $6.3 million at 392 haunted houses.
Thanks to high-powered word of mouth, “Paranormal 2” outstripped its predecessor in most debut territories.
In Gaul, the pic took in $2.5 million, of which approximately $120,000 came from five Imax locations, averaging a stellar $24,000 per location for the megascreen exhib.
“There’s good buzz surrounding the film, and we’re optimistic that it will continue to deliver solid results in Imax theaters leading into Halloween weekend,” notes an Imax spokesperson.
“Paranormal 2” was a last-minute addition to Imax’s slate; the pic screened at 151 domestic Imax theaters, with more overseas screens to be added in the coming weeks.
Typically, Halloween reps less of a B.O. slowdown overseas than domestically. Moviegoers in the U.K. historically have shown affinity toward similar seasonal titles as Stateside auds. While in its soph sesh in Blighty, “Paranormal 2” will compete with fellow scarer “Saw 3D.”
Par plans to roll out “Paranormal 2” in more than 30 international territories in the coming weeks. During its second outing, however, the sequel expands to mostly smaller markets in the Middle East and southeast Asia.
Universal scored high marks in holdover markets with a successful counterprogramming bid for “Despicable Me,” playing to family auds. The toon grossed a sizable $20.6 million over the weekend and has totaled just north of $200 million internationally.
Top market for the toon was the U.K., which despite the launch of “Paranormal 2,” brought in $4.3 million, dropping just 27%. The toon claimed the U.K.’s No. 1 spot on Saturday and positioned itself nicely for school holidays that began in Blighty Oct. 25. Pic’s local cume there reached $12.2 million during its first two weeks.
Other top holdover markets included Italy and Germany, where the toon ranked No. 1 for its fourth straight week, posting $3 million, down a mere 27%.
At the Italo B.O., “Despicable” was knocked from the top spot by local laffer “Welcome to the North,” which has tallied $29 million there so far, the country’s second-highest grosser this year behind “Avatar.” “Despicable Me” has cumed $9.3 million and $21.3 million in Italy and Germany, respectively.
In its second week of international play, Summit’s older-skewing “Red” reached $15.3 million in foreign B.O. grosses, with the film totaling $7.1 million from 19 markets last weekend.
Blighty was the only new major territory to get the pic, which debuted to $2.7 million. The pic’s U.K. launch acted as ideal counterprogramming opposite the market’s top two players, gaining a strong foothold among adult moviegoers; “Paranormal 2” played best with auds under 25, while “Despicable Me” has struck a chord mostly with families.
Summit sold foreign distribution rights to E1 Films in the U.K. and Concorde in Germany, the next key territory to get the film this weekend.
Without any major overseas expansions, Sony saw hearty takes from its top two holdovers: “The Social Network” and “Eat Pray Love.”
“Social Network” grossed $9.9 million in its third frame, while “Eat Pray Love” took in $8.3 million, cuming $100.5 million since its initial overseas release the weekend of Sept. 17-19. Meanwhile, “The Social Network” has totaled a modest $32.1 million internationally. That pic expands to Australia and Russia this weekend.
Emilio Mayorga in Barcelona, Mark Schilling in Tokyo, Clifford Coonan in Beijing, Ed Meza in Berlin, Lauren Seligman in Paris and Nick Vivarelli in Rome contributed to this report.