‘Couples Retreat’ Takes #1 Spot At Box Office

Vince Vaughn's romantic comedy wins the top spot, but 'Paranormal Activity' has a strong showing at #5.

The Box-Office Top Five

#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″ 3-D Double Feature ($7.7 million)
#5 “Paranormal Activity” ($7.1 million)

When [movieperson id="191474"]Vince Vaughn[/movieperson] takes to the big screen, he typically steals the spotlight. And while the funnyman certainly ruled the box office this weekend with his comedy [movie id="409482"]“Couples Retreat,”[/movie] all eyes are on another movie’s theatrical success story.

The surprise hit of the weekend was none other than the fifth-place-finishing [movie id="369646"]“Paranormal Activity,”[/movie] a horror flick directed by Oren Peli that was filmed entirely with a handheld camera. Produced on a meager budget of less than $16,000, “Paranormal Activity” actually debuted on September 25 but only at midnight showings at a handful of theaters. But thanks to the collective voice of horror fandom, Paramount was convinced to give the movie a wider release this weekend — and the results speak entirely for themselves.

Paramount’s decision to expand “Paranormal” to 160 theaters resulted in a $7.1 million weekend, bringing the film’s cumulative intake to $8.3 million. It’s hard to predict how much money the horror movie will make once it goes nationwide next weekend. Given the film’s success story so far though, the numbers are sure to be high.

Of course, credit must go where credit is due as the Vaughn-starring “Couples Retreat” snagged the box office’s top prize. The comedy earned $35.3 million by the end of Sunday evening, which is consistent with the results of Vaughn’s other recent romantic comedies “Four Christmases” (2008) and “The Break-Up” (2006), which earned $31 million and $39 million, respectively, on their debut weekends.

Despite the victory of “Retreat,” Sony Pictures managed to hold strong in second and third place with “Zombieland” and “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.” Both films continued their fantastic performances for the movie studio with $15 million and $12 million intakes, respectively. And with a cumulative $47.8 million intake thus far, “Zombieland” has already earned more than twice the cost it took to make the movie. “Meatballs,” meanwhile, is on the cusp of eating its way past its $100 million budget in its fourth weekend at the box office.

Upcoming Releases

If the success of “Paranormal Activity” thus far is any indicator, rival releases like Spike Jonze’s “Where the Wild Things Are” and “Law Abiding Citizen,” featuring Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx, have plenty to fear when the low-budget horror flick goes nationwide next weekend.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Paranormal Activity,” “Couples Retreat”and “Zombieland.”

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