‘This Is It’ For ‘Paranormal Activity’ In This Week’s Box Office Poll

Last week’s poll was strange, as it did not really reflect this weekend’s box office. The bulk of you picked “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant,” which saw an 8th place weekend finish and only $6.3 million in ticket sales. “Saw VI” was a close second, and that at least performed well in the number two spot with $14.8 million earned. But the big weekend winner was the low-budg horror flick “Paranormal Activity,” directed by Oren Peli, which nabbed $22 million.

The success of this movie has been nothing short of staggering. Last week, with less than 1000 screens running “Paranormal Activity,” the movie finished out the weekend at number three with $20 million in ticket sales. Peli’s got some stiff competition this week however, as you’ll learn soon enough in this week’s Box Office Poll. Can found footage ghosts hope to topple a fond farewell to fallen pop star Michael Jackson?

The big release of the week is the highly anticipated Kenny Ortega-directed documentary, “Michael Jackson’s This Is It.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no, success aside, “Paranormal Activity” has no shot at holding onto its number one spot this week. Nothing against the movie — I love it, personally — but people are going crazy for “This Is It.” It’s a foregone conclusion that it’ll come out on top this weekend.

Further assuring a “This Is It” weekend victory is the fact that there isn’t another wide release opening against it. This is likely due at least in part to the fact that Halloween is on Saturday. Even “Saw VI” opening last weekend. It’s not like many kids (or adults) are planning to spend Saturday evening — or even Devil’s Night on Friday — in a movie theater. And if they do, it will likely be to remember the man who brought “Thriller” into the world.

There are some tantalizing limited release options however. “Gentlemen Broncos,” from “Napoleon Dynamite” director Jared Hess, promises some quirky and offbeat good times. “Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day” meanwhile brings the action when the MacManus brothers come back to Boston with vengeance on their minds. “How To Seduce Difficult Women” is news to me, but the premise — a writer decides to help out 10 men who are lousy at relationships — makes it sound like a solid date movie. And since it wouldn’t be a Halloween weekend without at least one horror release, “The House of the Devil” will deliver some good, old-fashioned scares. Lots of positive buzz for this one too, so let us know what you think if you do check it out.