Box office preview: 'Paranormal Activity 3' should scare up some much-needed business


The last two Octobers have each featured a remarkably profitable Paranormal Activity film, and tomorrow, a third installment is entering theaters, vying to become to the first $100 million hit since The Help, which was released way back in August. The Three Musketeers and Johnny English Reborn will also do their best to find some business, but most of the Activity at the box office this weekend will be Paranormal.

Check out my box office predictions below: 

1. Paranormal Activity 3 – $41 million

UPDATE: ‘Paranormal Activity 3′ earned $8 million from midnight shows. Paramount’s bump-in-the-night, found footage franchise has done two incredibly impressive things. First off, it killed the Saw franchise. Let’s all be glad for that. Second, and more importantly, it earned Paramount an absolutely bonkers amount of money. The first Paranormal Activity earned $107.9 million against a $15,000 budget in 2009, while Paranormal Activity 2 (which was not as well received) grossed $84.8 million against a still-tiny $3 million budget in 2010.

Paranormal Activity 3 cost a bit more at $5 million, but with very strong reviews, an open marketplace that’s just asking for a big hit, and no Saw competition on the horizon, the sequel should play strong through the Halloween season. The picture is tracking very well with young audiences in their teens and 20s, which will drive Paranormal‘s box office this weekend. Last year, Paranormal Activity 2 opened with $40.7 million on this very weekend, and considering the franchise is still giving people the same old shtick (which, in this prognosticator’s opinion, is still very scary), 3 might open to similar numbers. I’ll say $41 million out of 3,321 theaters over the Friday-to-Sunday frame.

2. The Three Musketeers – $13 million

As a fan of the steampunk genre, I’d like to be enthusiastic about The Three Musketeers‘ box office prospects, but the closer we’ve gotten to this Alexandre Dumas-adaptation’s release, the more it has seemed like a misfire. The 3-D tale stars Christoph Waltz, Orlando Bloom, and Milla Jovovich (who, let’s be honest, is box office poison outside of the Resident Evil franchise). All the swashbuckling action looks like it cost a lot of money, but Summit is keeping mum on how much was spent on Musketeers, which they say was financed and produced by Constantin Film.

Title recognition will help the flick a bit on opening weekend, and a core audience of adventure-hungry males should turn out, but poor reviews may keep older audiences out of theaters. All in all, on the spectrum of costumey sword-fight movies, The Three Musketeers feels less like a Sherlock Holmes-level hit ($209 million), and more like The Brothers Grimm ($37.9 million). Out in 3,017 theaters, it might fight its way to a $13 million opening.

3. Real Steel – $10.5 million

Another small-ish drop is in store for the well-liked boxing robot movie, which has taken on a family film trajectory. After a 40 percent fall last weekend to $16.3 million, Dreamworks’ Hugh Jackman picture could drop by a slimmer 35 percent to $10.5 million, which would give the film about $65 million total, but as it should always be noted, Real Steel cost $110 million.

4. Footloose – $8 million

The dance remake didn’t quite break out last weekend, kicking off its Sunday shoes run with $15.6 million, but it’s been playing fairly well throughout the week. Clearly, this movie is not a box office powerhouse, but with a $24 million pricetag, that’s not too big of a problem for Paramount. It may fall by about 50 percent to $8 million.

5. Johnny English Reborn – $6 million

Though Rowan Atkinson’s bumbling spy spoofs are a big hit overseas, they are pretty much a non-factor Stateside. Back in 2003, Johnny English opened to $9.1 million on its way to a $28.1 million domestical total. Internationally, it earned $132.5 million, though. Considering that film hasn’t become any sort of cult classic in the eight years that have passed since then, Johnny English Reborn will likely open even lower than that this weekend. Not that it matters — the picture, which was made for $45 million, has already amassed $85.1 million overseas in the last five weeks. Universal has Reborn playing in 1,551 theaters, and it may take in $6.5 million.

Other notable releases include womens basketball drama The Mighty Macs, which is entering 975 theaters and might earn $1 million. Investment bank thriller Margin Call will also start its run at 50 locations. Given all the attention Occupy Wall Street is getting, I can’t wait to see how that performs.

Follow Grady on Twitter: @EWGradySmith

Comments (74 total) Add your comment
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  • Craig

    Three Musketeers looks painful, another reason just to cash in on 3D before it runs out of steam, it seem to be only successful eith animated films..not really to excited by any of these films..would like to see Margin Call though but not playing anywhere near me!

    • The Gosling Effect

      bet if you had Ryan Gosling in 3d singing “Holding Out For a Hero” while fighting vampires you would the #1 movie of all time.. I know EW would love it!

      • Templar


      • Oprah

        This is hilarious, because it’s true.

      • The Gosling Effect

        should have said “It would be the #1 movie of all-time” but you get the point!

      • Brian

        Very funny, and very true!

      • m1

        I would see that.

      • Jessie6534

        i see that

      • haisu

        If all the sheep will be off bleating to PA3 hopefully i can see other movies in peace.BTW,I wanna share a good news to you.My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire man who is a celebrity !they met via Millionaireloving.C óM is the largest and best club for celebrity and their admirers to chat online.You do not have to be rich or famous. ,but you can meet one , It’s worthy a try,Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends!

      • Korey

        Well played. Thanks for the laugh!

  • Craig

    * sorry that should have read “with animated films”

  • kyle

    Besides PA3, the box office will suck

  • LOL

    America loves crap.

    • The Gosling Effect

      Yes we do, so what, who cares, it’s our money..blame the Ryan Gosling’s spreading across the nation!

      • LOL

        You’re better off to stay home and watch Fast Five and experience the Vin Diesel Effect.

      • The Gosling Effect

        Yeah I know every week Fast Five blah blah, crap blah blah…last week EW talked about The Ryan Gossling effect, now that is real..your stuff is made up in your head…The Ryan Gosling Effect is sweeping the nation, just ask Grady Smith, he mentioned it last week!

      • Reality

        I heard the Vin Diesel effect was like Ex-Lax …Instant Crap!

      • LOL

        Wait Reality, have you seen Fast Five yet? It’s an experience you won’t soon forget. Ryan Gosling starred in a Fast Five knock off, Drive. I’m sure he’s a nice boy, but Vin Diesel is a true man.

      • Reality

        Yeah I saw it and speant 5 days on the toilet, my stomach still hurts when I think of about crap, wow what a turd!

      • The Gosling Effect

        The Ryan Gosling Effect is very real, they alked about it on this very didn’t that stupid car movie have Paul Walker in he is just a boy!

      • LOL

        I don’t doubt it, America likes a lot of crap, but they did get it right earlier this year with Fast Five. I was so proud of them in that moment, and there has been some improvement since I started posting here, they have at least rejected Green Lantern, 50/50 and The Thing. But we need to send Hollywood a message, give them a zero return this weekend, just stay home and watch the Fast Five blue ray, it has hours of special features to keep you entertained. The film itself can be watched over and over again. I lost count of how many times I saw it at the theatre, just an amazing film.

      • Jose

        You’re actually putting 50/50, the most critically acclaimed comedy of the year, alongside Green Lantern and The Thing? Wow do you need help.

      • The Truth

        Ok you are trying to say that you are the reason people did not see “The Green Lantern” and “50/50″, well lets see “The Green Lantern” was a terrible movie that was rejected on that basis, and “50/50″ which btw did turn a profit was a hard sell because of it’s subject matter, but is a good movie and should do very well on DVD, ok I have been reading these posts for awhile and you bashed “The Help”, “Dolphin Tale” and the reissue of “The Lion King” and they were all big money makers.. so there really is no “LOL effect” except in your troll mind!

      • LOL

        I’m saying it’spossible it was part of the reason those movies didn’t do well, how big a part, it’s hard to tell. Yes those crappy movies still did well, which is why my work here isn’t done.

      • The Truth

        and I’m saying it’spossible that your mother should have had you aborted when she had the chance, such a waste of a life!

      • Korey

        LOL, besides the fact that Gosling drove a car in Drive, there is absolutely no comparison between the films.

    • Pete

      Has anyone checked to see if LOL really is Vin Diesel?

    • America

      I looooove crap. Vin Diesel being the biggest, smelliest turd I have EVER seen.

  • Siobhan

    If all the sheep will be off bleating to PA3 hopefully i can see other movies in peace.

    • dee123

      Shouldn’t you be in Paris? Pretending to be dead?

      • Siobhan

        God i hate that show. I’m starting to get silly comments like this everyday now.

      • Brian

        I had to look that up, it is ok Siobhan no one really watches “The Ringer” it will be gone real soon!

    • LOL

      Just stay home and watch Fast Five, it is the best film of this century, maybe even of the last 50 years. As a critic for EW put it, Fast Five is a “pitch perfect” film.

      • The Truth

        that was not a critic that said it, the critic said it was a Slick piece of trash, get your spin right Troll!

      • LOL

        I’m not referring to the original review, but to an article about summer movies being disappointing, except for Fast Five, which the critic correctly called “pitch perfect.”

      • The Truth

        well that would not have been written by a critic then, critics only review the movies, if it wasnt said in the review, it was not said by a critic, period!

      • LOL

        No, it was written by one of their critics. That’s somekind of weird rule you just made up on the spot. Saying “period” after an untrue statement doesn’t make it true.

      • LOL

        The Truth is like the Fox News of this board. Always full of crap.

      • The Truth

        The truth is the truth EW just has 2 Film critics Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum so if it was not written by one of them in one of thier reviews it was not wrtten by a critic, you need to get your facts straight!…Ew’s film critics usually do no write the articles you are speaking again the truth is the truth Period….and btw so funny you comparing me to Fox news, when you post nohing but crap just to piss people off every week!..last week EW removed most of your comments, keep it up and they will do it again!

      • LOL

        Look at the posting times, they were posted at the same time. I didn’t compare you to Fox News, for all I know that might have been you. A critic for EW wrote that Fast Five was “pitch perfect.” There’s no need for all the hostility here my friend, I’m only trying to help my fellow man.

      • The Truth

        now why would I post that about myself, you frak, and I tried to look up the article you spoke of and it is nowhere to be found, but the review written by film critic Owen Gleiberman called it a slick piece of trash!

      • Cameron J

        Boys! Boys! You’re both pretty. Go home now.

      • LOL

        The article was posted in August I think, can’t remember who wrote it. As a gesture of goodwill, if the wording is of such concern to you, from now on I will say that EW said Fast Five was “pitch perfect.”

      • LOL

        @Cameron J..pretty huh?..I knew you had a crush on me!

      • Cameron J

        Sorry. Your soul is ugly as hell

  • Katrina Davy

    ‘Margin Call’, ‘The Mighty Macs’, ‘Oranges and Sunshine’, ‘Retreat’, ‘The Reunion’ and ‘Snowmen’ should have all gotten a nationwide theatrical release. If they were given a fair chance, any one of them could have been No. 1 this week. They all have interesting casts (‘Margin Call’ – Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci) (‘The Mighty Macs’ – Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz, Marley Shelton, Ellen Burstyn) (‘Oranges and Sunshine’ – Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving) (‘Retreat’ – Cillian Murphy, Jamie Bell, Thandie Newton) (‘The Reunion’ – John Cena, Ethan Embry, Michael Rispoli, Amy Smart) (‘Snowmen’ – Ray Liotta, Christopher Lloyd) with some stars who should be doing more mainstream movies. I would have liked to see how they would have done commercially if released nationwide and they deserve better than to go unnoticed by the public now.

    • Reality

      Here we ago again with Studio Shill spouting out another list of movies that were not good enough to get a nationwide realease, a least change your comment up so it looks like it is coming from an actual person and not a spambot who do you know if they desereve better, do spambots actually see movies?

      • Jose

        Margin Call is actually getting great reviews.

      • Reality

        It might be a great film, but the point is this same damn spam message is posted in the same manner using the same exact wording every week using different movies, if someone like you that is an actual film goer posted it I might take it seriously, but I just hate when the studios use the message boards for advertising by posing as an actual person!… it is as insulting if not more than the dating spambots!

    • Mike Hunt

      “Femmy Guys”, “Craphouse” and ‘Slowmen’ should have all gotten a nationwide theatrical release. If they were given a fair chance, any one of them could have been No. 1 this week. They all have interesting casts (‘Femmy Guys”- Matthew Broderick, Topher Grace, Forrest Whitaker. Chace Crawford, Ben Stiller) (Craphouse – Vin Diesel, Lindsay Lohan, Drew Barrymore, Nicholas Cage, Abe Vigoda) (‘Slowmen’ – Adam Sandler, Ed Helms, Mike Tyson, Paul Walker, The Corpse of Chris Farley) with some stars who should be doing more mainstream movies. I would have liked to see how they would have done commercially if released nationwide and they deserve better than to go unnoticed by the public now.

      • Noisy

        do you think?Anyone going to a Derby party?Here is what you missed this week on United With Love:Top of the town, ineedd.Peonies!Rain, rain, go away!Sweet vow renewal.A new use for a feather boa.A perfect day for

    • Jose

      Masrgin Call – Even with that cast and the reviws no one will see it because its about why the economy collapsed, who really wants to see that?

      And guess what, The Mighty Macs IS being released nationwide. According to Boxofficemojo, its at 1,000 theaters nationwide, yet it has horrible reveiws and zero advertising. So one of the films you desperately want to see get a wide release has a chance to do so, but will fail because no one will watch it.

      • Brian

        Masrgin Call?…lol..spell much?

      • Jose

        Do you even have a life? I wrote 2 paragraphs and you point out the one word that is misspelled.

  • The Truth

    Really Cameron J? get into some sort of spat with LOL every week, and you post that?…kind of hypocritical on your part, don’t you think!

  • Magdalena

    The Musketeers movies have been done to death and have become increasingly repetitious and monotonous. How many times have they made this same movie already? It’s the same story, just with different actors.

  • Sheldon Ashcroft

    Just like with Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Too Big to Fail which were also about the global recession, Margin Call is a very important movie.

    • America

      Ok, Too Big to Fail was an HBO move, and about a real event, while the wall street sequel was a cinematic, completely fictional movie. Cannot lump the two together

      • alllllllll

        how much is it to go see parinormal activity 3

  • jpratm

    DONOT waist your money of Paranormal 3 its crap.

  • Nope

    Ummm, I know it was a while ago, but Fifth Element did pretty well at the box office. Just saying…

    • Brian

      so did “Jaws” what is your point?

  • Ben

    The Three Musketeers looks like a critical and commerical dud. It looks like the CGI special effects department went overboard. The story about Leonardo DaVinci inventing a destructive weapon was (probably) done better in an episode of Futurama. I hope it does not make a lot of money at the box office.

  • iggy

    My whole family loves the first Johnny English…it’s hysterical! There are too many funny scenes to list, and even the theme song by Robbie Williams has made it onto a few playlists in this house. We’re looking forward to seeing the new one.

    • Auth

      It was a actually very suroeipr release. The theory is that I’d like to produce such as this additionally getting occasion along with actual energy to generate a excellent written piece however exactly what do My spouse and i point out I delay doing things a lot and certainly not seem to get some thing carried out.

    • Marcos

      Is this project loonikg glass? I remember a similar thing to this which I used to play with in smalltalk (you could fire up browsers etc). Plus you could bring up the smalltalk object browser at any time and tinker with stuff (scary cool).When it works well, could really be useful. We just need multiple 40 inch screens and tactile interfaces and we will never need to leave the house !

  • larryk

    Just saw PA3. It was scarey,spooky fun!

  • John

    For me, It’s all about next weekend when Puss In Boots comes out.

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