Box-Office Top Five
The demons and ghouls of Halloween may have kept most prospective moviegoers away from theaters this weekend, but Michael Jackson loyalists came out in support of "Michael Jackson's This Is It," Sony's documentary of the deceased pop sensation's final rehearsals.
"This Is It" took the top spot at the box office this weekend with $21.3 million, bringing the documentary's total gross to $32.5 million since its opening last Wednesday. Despite claiming first place, "This Is It" failed to perform at the $30-$40 million level that Sony had initially hoped for, given the musician's massive fanbase and the attention surrounding his tragic death earlier this summer. Perhaps as a result of the film's less-than-expected intake thus far, "This Is It" will stay in theaters through Thanksgiving, after originally being billed as a limited two-week engagement. With the combination of the film's elongated theatrical run and its hefty foreign intake of $68.5 million, the Michael Jackson documentary could come a bit closer to the numbers that Sony and concert promoter AEG initially anticipated.
It's hardly surprising that "Paranormal Activity," the continually successful horror film from Paramount, managed another big weekend. The movie managed a second-place finish of $16.5 million, a result that owes as much to the spooky holiday as it does to Paramount's decision to expand the film by 400 more theaters. After six weeks, "Paranormal Activity" has earned a cumulative total of $84.8 million, a phenomenal result given the movie's miniscule $15,000 budget and fan-supported viral marketing campaign.
Aside from "Michael Jackson's This Is It" and "Paranormal Activity," the weekend's theatrical activity was mostly subdued. "Law Abiding Citizen," "Couples Retreat" and "Saw VI" took third, fourth and fifth place respectively, while the remainder of the top 10 consisted of movies befitting the theme of the holiday, such as "The Stepfather" and "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant." Ironically, Rob Zombie's "Halloween II," which expanded by nearly a thousand theaters this weekend, didn't crack the top 10.
The horror continues next weekend, with Cameron Diaz and James Marsden's "The Box" and Robert Zemeckis' adaptation of the ghost-filled "A Christmas Carol" starring Jim Carrey. Aliens get their shot at box-office gold by way of Milla Jovovich's "The Fourth Kind," while "The Men Who Stare at Goats," starring the likes of George Clooney and Ewan McGregor, also arrives in theaters.
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