1. Paranormal Activity 4 – $33 million [debut week] This franchise has always seemed very limited to me and its appeal has totally escaped me. While the fourth installment took the box office crown, it may be losing some favor with audiences as this was down about $20 million from “Paranormal Activity 3’s” $52 million take. Don’t expect a long shelf life here.
2. Argo – $15 million [$40 million; 2nd week] – Ben Affleck’s drama wasn’t expected to leave the Top 5 anytime soon and it had a modest drop to retain second place. This is a genuine Oscar contender so word of mouth and buzz should only increase as more people see it.
3. Taken 2 – $12.5 million [$105 million; third week] The two-time box office champ dropped a couple of spots, but it was enough to send it over the $100 million mark. The original grossed a total of $145 million and this looks to be on pace to easily exceed that. Audiences clearly enjoy watching Liam Neeson as an action star.
4. Alex Cross – $11 million [debut week] On the other hand… maybe audiences prefer watching Tyler Perry in a wig and dress. “Alex Cross” is Perry’s lowest grossing film by far. His February drama, “Good Deeds,” had marked the lowest, but it brought in a respectable $35 million. His latest Madea “comedy,” “Madea’s Witless Protection” debuted to $65 million. Not good for Perry’s efforts to be taken as a more serious actor.
5. Hotel Transylvania – $9 million [$120 million; fourth week] This animated has become a monster hit (pun intended) for Sony as it is the only other fall release save “Taken 2” that has reached the $100 million mark.