Box office update: 'Argo' climbs to No. 1 with $4 million on Friday as new releases sputter

argo

Thanks to a weak field of newcomers, Ben Affleck’s Oscar contender Argo led the box office on Friday, the first day of its third weekend.

The Warner Bros. thriller dropped by a slim 21 percent from last Friday, and it now looks headed for about $13 million and its first weekend win, which I predicted heading into the frame. Notably, Sunday show times may be affected by weary East coast ticket buyers who don’t want to venture into the real world on the eve of Frankenstorm, but we’ll have to wait and see if the inclement weather has any real effect.

Open Road’s $20 million videogame adaptation/horror sequel Silent Hill: Revelation 3D finished in second place with an estimated $3.5 million. Because its target audience is made up mostly of young fanboys and fangirls, who tend to rush out to the theater on opening night, Silent Hill will likely take a tumble over the rest of the weekend. The film may finish with about $9 million over three days.

Close behind in third place was Cloud Atlas, which earned an estimated $3.5 million as well. Cloud Atlas should hold up a bit better than Silent Hill, and it may finish the weekend with about $10 million. Fortunately, Warner Brothers didn’t finance the $100 million picture — the studio just acquired domestic distribution rights. Still, this is a very weak start.

Two holdovers rounded out the Top 5. Paranormal Activity 4 grossed $3.1 million (a gigantic 79 percent drop from last Friday) and will earn about $9 million in its sophomore frame. Taken 2, meanwhile, earned $2.6 million, and should add another $8 million to its already formidable cumulative.

1. Argo – $4.0 million
2. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D – $3.5 million
3. Cloud Atlas – $3.5 million
4. Paranormal Activity 4 – $3.1 million
5. Taken 2 – $2.6 million

Two new wide releases also hit theaters, but both were dead on arrival. Paramount’s Victoria Justice vehicle Fun Size grossed $1.3 million on Friday and may have to settle for a $3 million weekend. And Gerard Butler’s new surfing drama Chasing Mavericks truly bombed with only $825,000 on its first day. The Fox film is headed for a $2.4 million debut. Not so gnarly, brah.

Check back tomorrow for the full weekend report, and follow me on Twitter for more box office updates and analysis!

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