The third installment of the horror film franchise, Paranormal Activity 3, scored the highest domestic box office opening since July, grossing a whopping $26.2 million on Friday, its opening day.
The opening-day gross of $26.2 million is the strongest since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, which was released in theaters back in July; $8 million alone came from midnight showings on Oct. 21, just ten days ahead of Halloween.
The frightening flick is a prequel, third installment of the Paranormal Activity franchise, centered around two youngsters, Katie and Kristi, who befriend an invisible entity which resides in their home. The film appealed to all audiences, box office reports show, with 53 percent under the age of 25 and the remainder over the age of 25.
The franchise is one of the most profitable films in history, due to its low production cost and high grossing box office. The first installment cost a mere $15,000 to produce and grossed a $193.4 million worldwide when it opened in September 2009. Paranormal Activity 2 similarly brought in $177.5 million, with $40.7 in its first weekend, though it only cost $3 million to produce.
The budget for Paranormal Activity 3 was capped at $5 million, which it exceeded in midnight showings alone.
Paranormal Activity 3 also opened strong overseas, with $521,000 in France on its opening on Thursday, $550,000 in Russia and $516,000 in Australia, all of which exceeded the sequel.
The successful opening is set to put Paranormal Activity 3 on the path to earn as much as $50 million for its opening weekend, according to box office reports, as it has no other competition in the horror genre this October. This could make it the best domestic opening since Rise of the Planet Apes, which earned $54.5 million in its opening weekend in August.
In comparison, Paramount's remake of 80's Footloose brought in $15.5 million domestically in its opening weekend and in its second week has grossed $26.7 million worldwide. Real Steel, in third place for the weekend since its opening last week, brought in $27.3 million for its opening weekend.
The film is distributed by Paramount Pictures and is produced by Jason Blum, Oren Peli and Steven Schneider. Paranormal Activity 3 is directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman and stars Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown and Christopher Nicholas Smith.
1. Paranormal Activity 3 - $26.2 mil
2. Footloose - $3.5 mil
3. Real Steel - $3.1 mil
4. The Three Musketeers - $2.9 mil
5. The Ides of March - $1.5 mil