First the good news: Paramount’s $5 million found footage horror sequel Paranormal Activity 4 easily led the box office with $30.2 million in its first three days.
Now for the bad news: That’s 43 percent less (i.e. $22.4 million less) than Paranormal Activity 3 earned in its debut frame, and 26 percent less ($10.5 million) than Paranormal Activity 2 managed.
Fortunately for Paramount, the tiny cost of the Paranormal films still make them highly profitable, but the sharp drop off from PA3 to PA4 could spell trouble for the franchise. Paranormal Activity 4, which received a “C” CinemaScore grade from polled audiences, has received the worst reviews of any entry in the series, yet Paramount chose to open it earlier than its predecessors. The film was released on Thursday night at 9 p.m. — PA2 and PA3 opened at midnight — and perhaps negative word-of-mouth spread faster and earlier, thus limiting its weekend prospects. Also making matters difficult was direct competition from Sinister, the similarly themed horror title that opened to $18 million last weekend. READ FULL STORY »