‘Paranormal Activity 4′ Overtakes ‘Taken’ At Box Office

Latest in found-footage series opens to $30.2 million to take the #1 spot from Liam Neeson's sequel.

“Paranormal Activity 4″ possessed the box office over the weekend while Tyler Perry’s decidedly un-”Madea” outing, “Alex Cross,” fizzled.

The $30.2 million opening posted by the latest “Paranormal Activity” flick was roughly $10 to $20 million lower than industry analysts expected, but still enough to put the found-footage franchise back at #1. By comparison, last year’s “Paranormal Activity 3″ opened with $52.6 million, but the films were extremely inexpensive for Paramount Pictures to produce. (“Paranormal Activity 4″ was made for about $5 million.)

The prequel of sorts “Alex Cross,” which saw Perry taking over a role last played onscreen by Morgan Freeman in “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider,” failed to ignite, grossing just $11.7 million to land at #5. “Alex Cross” carried a reported production budget of $23 million. Stepping outside of his commercial comfort zone, Perry did not write, direct or produce the action thriller, whose title character was created by novelist James Patterson.

The opening for “Alex Cross” was the worst for any movie starring Perry. Both of Freeman’s Alex Cross movies opened with bigger numbers. Critics were not kind to the movie, either: At press time, it had a lowly 13 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

While the numbers for “Paranormal Activity 4″ and “Alex Cross” were certainly disappointments, strong holds from Ben Affleck’s critically acclaimed “Argo” and Adam Sandler’s “Hotel Transylvania” were enough to help the theaters post bigger overall numbers compared to the same period last year. “Argo” was #2 with $16.6 million for a two week total of $43.1 million. The animated “Hotel Transylvania” was #3 with $13.5 million for a $119 million total.

“Taken 2″ became the second movie of the fall season to cross the $100 million mark, landing at #4 with $13.4 million toward a $105.9 million total.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Paranormal Activity 4.”