Argo Tops A Disappointing Box Office; 4 Newcomers Bow Weak

Argo Box Office

All four studio releases debuted with a whimper at best and tanked at worst. Ben Affleck's Argo topped the box office in a disappointing weekend. It is hard to estimate the impact on the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy had on Sunday on the East Coast as residents scurried to get ready for the storm, but the weekend's box office took a hit nevertheless. Strong word-of-mouth made Argo one of the lone stars of the weekend.

1. Argo
Gross: $12,355,000 (Cume: $60,780,288)
Screens: 2,855 (PSA: $4,327)
Week: 3 (Change: - 24.9%)

Argo finally made it to number one three weeks into its release. But it was mostly by default because its competition from newcomers failed to make the box office grade. Still, Argo showed bravado on its own, with only a small dip in its returns, despite losing 392 locations. Word of mouth is clearly propelling the Ben Affleck-directed political thriller that is a strong contender for awards this season. A $100 million gross is certainly not out of the question.

2. Hotel Transylvania
Gross: $9.5 million (Cume: $130,434,000)
Screens: 3,276 (PSA: $2,900)
Week: 5 (Change: - 26.9%)

The animated feature jumped from fourth place last week to second in its fifth round. The $130 million-plus cumulative makes it one of Sony Pictures Animation's top animated-only pic. It will eventually overtake The Smurfs, which grossed $142.6 million.

3. Cloud Atlas
Gross: $9.4 million
Screens: 2,008 (PSA: $4,681)
Week: 1

Six slightly connected stories told over two hours and forty-four minutes was bound to be a marketing challenge. The pic received a C+ CinemaScore, so it's going to be a steep trek for this $100 million movie sees any profit. Its recognizable cast should help it as it heads overseas. While it's the best of the weekend's newcomers, it clearly didn't connect with audiences at the level needed.

4. Paranormal Activity 4
Gross: $8,675,000 (Cume: $42,632,365)
Screens: 3,412 (PSA: $2,542)
Week: 2 (Change: - 70.1%)

The pic fell a heavy 70% from its opening weekend when it opened at number one with a $30.2 million open and an $8,851 screen average. The drop was steeper than Paranormal Activity 3's 66 percent drop. The third installment had grossed about $10 million more than the current pic by this point in its release.

5. Silent Hill: Revelation (3-D)
Gross: $8 million
Screens: 2,933 ($2,728)
Week: 1

A weak opening for the pic, which is off 60 percent from the first movie's $20.15 million debut. Competition from Paranormal Activity 4 and Sinister likely weighed in in suppressing box office activity for the title.

6. Taken 2
Gross: $8 million (Cume $117,389,000)
Screens: 2,995 (PSA: $2,671)
Week: 4 (Change: - 39.7%)

The title lost 494 theaters compared to its third weekend and essentially tied with newcomer Silent Hill: Revelation (3-D) in the overall box office chart. Taken 2 is holding solid, beating out the first installment by $22 million.

7. Here Comes the Boom
Gross: $5.5 million (Cume: $30,610,472)
Screens: 2,491 (PSA: $2,208)
Week: 3 (Change: - 34.6%)

The film remained in seventh place in the b.o. chart, dropping over 34% and losing 523 theaters. Last weekend it averaged $2,820 compared to $3,981 in its debut.

8. Sinister
Gross: $5.07 million (Cume: $39,514,955)
Screens: 2,347 (2,160)
Week: 3 (Change: - 42.5%)

The title dropped 195 theaters in its third round and dropped a fairly strong 42 percent plus. But with a production budget of only $3 million, the title is a clear success and its roll-out will continue. Last weekend it averaged $3,552.

9. Alex Cross
Gross: $5.05 million (Cume: $19,368,691)
Screens: 2,541 (PSA: $1,987)
Week: 2 (Change: - 55.7%)

The pic dropped nearly 56%, a steep one for the titles second round. It added two locations and its $1,987 average compares to $4,489 in its debut. The crime thriller's $35 million production budget means it has a tough road given its slow momentum.

10. Fun Size
Gross: $4.06 million
Screens: 3,014 (PSA: $1,347)
Week: 1

Ouch, one of the worst of the weekend's new offerings, the film clearly tanked with audiences.


13. Chasing Mavericks
Gross: $2.2 million
Screens: 2,002 (PSA: $1,099)
Week: 1

The worst of the newcomers, the film failed to make the top ten even though it opened wide. The debut is the ninth worst ever for a film opening in over 2,000 theaters.