Box Office Results: Couples Retreat peaks, but Paranormal Activity stuns

Studio Estimates for Oct. 9-11:

1.  Couples Retreat – $35.3 million
2.  Zombieland – $15 million
3.  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – $12 million
4.  Toy Story/Toy Story 2 – $7.7 million
5.  Paranormal Activity – $7.1 million

— 

To no surprise, Couples Retreat won the box office this weekend with its big name cast and the fact that it was the only wide release movie that came out.  Taking in $35.3 million, it’s the highest-grossing Columbus Day weekend gross on record ahead of Meet the Parents (Box Office Mojo).

Zombieland continued its success by ranking in second with $15 million.  Another movie continuing its success was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which landed in the third spot with $12 million.  The second weekend of its two-week run totaled $7.7 million for Toy Story/Toy Story 2 (3-D).

But the big story of the weekend was the insane $7.1 million that Paranormal Activity grossed in only 160 theaters.  That’s a per-theater-average of over $44,000!  Finally breaking its midnight-only showings, the hype and word-of-mouth was definitely a big reason why everyone went to see this doc-style horror film.  Paramount Pictures will be taking advantage of its momentum by expanding it even more this Friday.

As for our predictions, I was able to predict all of the Top 5 films and in the correct order (patting myself on the back as I type).

Check back on Friday for our new predictions.  The highly anticipated adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are will receive a huge release of over 3,500 theaters.  Meanwhile, horror gets its film with The Stepfather and action/thriller gets its film with Law Abiding Citizen.  It should be a good weekend for movies.

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