×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Paranormal’ tops domestic, global B.O.

Par scarer comes in under estimates, short of predecessors to earn $30 mil at domestic B.O.

Paramount returned from a 15 week dry spell with a global-best $56.7 million for “Paranormal Activity 4,” the microbudget franchise that’s billowing overseas but showing signs of giving up the ghost at home.

The chiller’s $30.2 million domestic haul lagged estimates by at least $5 million, not to mention the high bar set by prior installments: “Paranormal Activity 3” opened to $52.6 million and “Paranormal Activity 2,” which observers cite as a better comp, bowed to $40.7 million. But “4” got freaky overseas, where first place openings in nine territories including Australia, Germany and Mexico floated the in ternational haul up 11.5% from “Paranormal 3” and 28% over “Paranormal 2.”

“We’re focused a lot on that international growth,” said Megan Colligan, Par’s domestic marketing and distribution prexy. She added that despite lower-than-expected returns, the studio is pretty pleased with the film’s performance. “The fact of the matter is, if we could make $5 million movies that open to $30 million every week, we’d make them,” she said.

This frame’s other wide opener, “Alex Cross” from Summit, also wound up on the low end of expectations with $11.8 million.

Aud composition for the thriller closely resembled that of previous Tyler Perry starrers, despite the fact that the multi-hyphenate didn’t direct or produce. As for potential crossover appeal from James Patterson fans, that crowd may show in greater numbers in coming weeks.

Summit distribution topper Richie Fay attributed the frame’s underperformances to the strength of recent holdovers, namely “Argo” (see sidebar) and “Sinister.” Other holdovers demonstrated strong legs with low week-over-week percentage drops. Sony’s “Hotel Transylvania” fell just 22% and Universal’s “Pitch Perfect” fell 24%, in addition to “Argo’s” record-breaking 15% drop.

In its soph sesh, “Sinister,” also from “Paranormal” franchise producer Jason Blum, dropped just 50%, a good hold given the genre. In the last two years, Par’s “Paranormal” entries haven’t been preceded by another horror film in the same month.

Scarers traditionally have shorter-than-average legs, particular this “Paranormal” with almost 40% of Friday’s gross coming from late Thursday night screenings. With “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” opening next weekend, “Paranormal 4” likely had its heyday this weekend.

Par has already greenlit a fifth installment to the franchise, as well as a bilingual spinoff catering to the Latino community and Spanish-speaking markets worldwide to bow early 2013. There is no word yet whether Henry Joost and Ariel Shulman, directors of the last two entries who were scooped up by Par after helming tonally-similar docu “Catfish,” will be back for round five.

The partially Spanish-language spinoff is largely a response to strong Latino interest in the franchise and in the horror genre in general. The offshoot is teased by a brief, post-credit scene in “Paranormal 4” to spark online conversation, a routine marketing strategy for the franchise.

Only last week, Imax signed on to screen “Paranormal 4” in the premium format, contributing $1.9 million, or between 6% and 7%, of the film’s total gross.

Marking Par’s return to the 2012 slate, “Paranormal 4” is the first of eight films the studio will release between now and the end of December, nearly three times as many as any other studio in the same time frame.

On four screens, “The Sessions” unspooled with a per screen average of $30,000, roughly in the center of pre-weekend expectations. Distributor Fox Searchlight will be adding five additional markets next weekend, which will be a crowded sesh with openers including Warner Bros.’ “Cloud Atlas,” Fox’s “Chasing Mavericks,” Open Road’s “Silent Hill” sequel and Par’s “Fun Size.”

More Film

  • Bertrand Tavernier Hosts Night of Cinema

    Bertrand Tavernier Hosts Night of Cinema Inspired Orchestra in Paris

    Flanked by UniFrance president Serge Toubiana and the National Orchestra of France, filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier stood before a rapt crowd at Paris’ Maison de la Radio this past Saturday to introduce an evening dedicated to French film scores called “May the Music Begin!” That moniker – a reference to the original French title of his [...]

  • Orange Studio Sells Out 'Serial (Bad)

    Orange Studio Sells Out 'Serial (Bad) Weddings 2,' 'City Hunter' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based Orange Studio has nearly sold out its two French comedy highlights, Philippe de Chauveron’s “Serial (Bad) Weddings 2” and Philippe Lacheau’s “City Hunter.” “Serial (Bad) Weddings 2,” which opened the UniFrance Rendez-Vous in Paris last week, is the sequel of the smash hit film which grossed over $148 million worldwide. The movie has been [...]

  • Danmarks Sønner, en film af Ulaa

    Trailer for Rotterdam Competition Opener 'Sons of Denmark' Released (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for the opening film of Rotterdam Film Festival’s Tiger Competition, “Sons of Denmark.” The film is a political thriller set in Denmark in 2025, a year after a bomb attack in Copenhagen, when ethnic tensions are running high. An ultra-nationalist politician, Martin Nordahl, and his National [...]

  • Operation Red Sea review

    Chinese Entertainment Industry Braces for a 'Cold Winter' in 2019

    Winter is here for the Chinese entertainment industry, a half-dozen top-tier industry professionals concurred in Beijing at the launch last week of Tencent Entertainment’s annual data-filled white paper. China’s box office hit new heights in 2018, raking in about $9 billion, but it was also a year of drastic regulatory changes and a government tax [...]

  • Indie Sales Acquires Martin Lund's Nordic

    Indie Sales Acquires Nordic Coming-Of-Age 'Psychobitch' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired Martin Lund’s Norwegian coming-of-age drama “Psychobitch” which is headlined by Elli Rhiannon Müller Osbourne (“Utoya: July 22”). “Psychobitch” marks the first feature film of Martin Lund, who made his debut with “Twigson Ties the Knot,” a local box office hit, and followed up with “The Almost Man,” which won [...]

  • Studiocanal has sold Jean Paul Gaultier's

    Jean Paul Gaultier's 'Freak And Chic' Documentary Sells For Studiocanal (EXCLUSIVE)

    Underscoring the strength and scope of French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s legacy around the world, the documentary “Jean Paul Gaultier Freak And Chic,” which chronicles the making of Gaultier’s ongoing popular show in Paris, has been luring distributors in key markets. Sold by Studiocanal and produced by Capa, the documentary has already been picked [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content