‘Paranormal Activity 4’ drives Friday B.O.

Par's franchise lags predecessors, pacing for $35 mil-$37 mil opening

Paranormal Activity 4” has secured the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office, as expected, with Paramount’s horror sequel scaring up between $35 million-$37 million for the weekend.

The weekend’s other newcomer, Summit’s actioner “Alex Cross,” is tracking between $12 million-$16 million.

According to early returns, “Paranormal 4” is in line for $17 million Friday, which includes Thursday’s nighttime haul of $4.5 million. Pic looks unlikely to match the $52 million opening weekend of “Paranormal Activity 3,” but the downswing is hardly troublesome for Par, considering the movie only cost $5 million to produce.

Starting with Oren Peli’s 2009 micro-budget horror sleeper, the “Paranormal Activity” franchise has grossed over $500 million worldwide.

Alex Cross,” toplined by Tyler Perry, is based on the Alex Cross detective novels by James Patterson and marks the first non-auteur outing for Perry, who assumes the Alex Cross role that Morgan Freeman last portrayed in the 1997 thriller “Kiss the Girls.”

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Warner Bros.’ “Argo,” meanwhile, is holding very steady in its sophomore frame with approximately $15 million, according to estimates. Ben Affleck’s CIA hostage drama, riding a 95% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes, is down only 25% from opening weekend, despite having roughly the same theater count.

“Argo” leads a pack of hearty holdovers. Fox’s “Taken 2” and Sony’s Adam Sandler toon “Hotel Translyvania” are both eyeing $11 million this weekend.

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