‘Paranormal Activity 2′ Terrorizes Weekend Box Office

'Found footage' sequel scares up first place, with Clint Eastwood's supernatural 'Hereafter' lagging behind at #4.

“Paranormal Activity” scared its way into theaters last fall, yielding a massive worldwide total of $193.4 million on a shoestring budget of $15,000. One year later, the “found footage” fright fest has spawned a sequel — and unsurprisingly, audiences are finding themselves drawn to the franchise’s thrills all over again.

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 “Paranormal Activity 2″ ($41.5 million)
#2 “Jackass 3D” ($21.6 million)
#3 “Red” ($15 million)
#4 “Hereafter” ($12 million)
#5 “The Social Network” ($7.3 million)

“Paranormal Activity 2″ earned $41.5 million at the box office in its first weekend in theaters, a spectacular result given the film’s $3 million budget. The sequel’s performance certainly isn’t as impressive as the original “Paranormal Activity” — few things are, really — but the latest installment of the low-budget horror series won some notable records nonetheless, including best ever midnight opening and greatest opening night for an R-rated film.

Supernatural movies should know by now not to contend with the “Paranormal Activity” brand, but it appears that Clint Eastwood didn’t get the memo. The director’s “Hereafter” pulled in a mere $12 million fourth-place finish in its first weekend in wide release. Despite the star power of Matt Damon, “Hereafter” simply couldn’t trump the built-in fanbase of “Paranormal 2.”

With two highly successful films under its belt, “Paranormal Activity” has proven itself as a lucrative franchise for Paramount Pictures. But Paramount got an extra boost in the form of “Jackass 3-D,” which won second place in its second weekend at the box office. Johnny Knoxville and his merry band of thrill-seekers’ latest film saw a significant 57 percent drop from its opening weekend performance, but it still managed a solid $21.6 million haul thanks to the increased price of 3-D ticket sales.

Holdovers “Red” and “The Social Network” rounded out the top five with $15 million and $7.3 million respectively.

Upcoming Releases

Jigsaw stalks the box office once again with next weekend’s release of “Saw 3D,” but it remains to be seen whether the latest installment in the torture franchise can hold off the “Paranormal Activity” sequel over Halloween weekend.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Paranormal Activity 2,” “Jackass 3D” and “Hereafter.”

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