'Paranormal Activity' Scares Its Way To First Place In The Sunday Box Office Report

Paranormal Activity1. "Paranormal Activity" ($22 million)

2. "Saw VI" ($14.8 million)

3. "Where The Wild Things Are" ($14.4 million)

4. "Law Abiding Citizen" ($12.7 million)

5. "Couples Retreat" ($11.1 million)

Aside from the Ghostbusters themselves, it's hard to imagine a force powerful enough to topple "Paranormal Activity," the independently financed and created horror film from director Oren Peli. Now with its largest theater count to date at 1,945, "Paranormal" has finally ascended to the top spot at the box office with a $22 million weekend finish.

The ghost-centric thriller has amassed a $62.5 million total since hitting theaters five weeks ago, which is certainly a far cry from the numbers posted during "Paranormal's" initial run of midnight showings. Paramount is expecting that the film could ultimately approach or cross over the $100 million threshold, which would undoubtedly be an excellent result not just for the forces behind "Paranormal Activity," but also for the morale of independent filmmakers everywhere.

With one weekend to go until Halloween, theaters are understandably packed with horror films — but they're not all faring as well as "Paranormal Activity," as the sixth installment in the "Saw" franchise also debuted this weekend to a much poorer result than expected. "Saw VI" only managed $14.8 million by the weekend's conclusion, which is a is a massive drop from the $30 million opening weekend of last year's "Saw V." The poor performance could signal the end of the torture-ridden franchise, if only for a short time.

The third, fourth and fifth place finishers — "Where The Wild Things Are," "Law Abiding Citizen" and "Couples Retreat," respectively — were all previously released films, and it's looking less and less likely that "Wild Things" will surpass its estimated $100 million budget.

"Astro Boy" and "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" performed much worse than their producers had hoped. The manga adaptation was able to move from eighth place on Friday to sixth place on Sunday with a final total of $7 million, but the film will still need to do better business overseas to stand a chance at making a profit. "Cirque du Freak," meanwhile, sunk from Friday's seventh place to a final eighth place finish with $6.3 million.

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