Paranormal Activity 3 not only earned the top spot as the number one movie this weekend, but completely shattered box-office records for the a fall debut in September or October.  The film surpassed Jackass 3-D, which obtained the record last fall.

This is third installment in the mockumentary horror film series.  Paranormal Activity 3 opened with an estimated $54 million in ticket sales with about $8 million in midnight sales.  It even beat out its predecessor, Paranormal Activity 2 by $13 million in opening weekend sales. 

Horror fans came out in very large numbers this weekend, and that's a testament to the filmmakers and the enduring power of this franchise, said Rob Moore, Paramount Pictures vice chairman, according to The Los Angeles Times.  The film grossed an additional $26 million in the international market during its debut in including to France, Australia, and Russia, according to Paramount.

Real Steal finished in second this weekend with $11.3 million, the remake of Footloose took third place with $10.9 million and the The Ides of March rounded out the top five with $4.9 million.

The Three Musketeers was also a new release this weekend.  However, it finished in fourth in the box office.  About 55 percent of The Three Musketeers $8.8 million debut can be attributed to the more expensive 3-D ticket prices, according to MTV.com.   

I think 'summit' have swept '3 Musketeers', a grt family adventure film, under the rug in the US. Shame on them, said lead actress Mila Jovovitch over Twitter as she attacked Summit Entertainment, which released the film.  Critics universally panned the movie, however.  It received only 27 percent on RottenTomatoes.com with an average rating of only four out of ten.  

In the worst possible case, this could go on and on, but please, let's hope it doesn't, said New York Times film Critic Stephen Holden as he referred to the possibility of a sequel or series.

The only other new release this weekend was Johnny English Reborn, which finished in eighth place with $3.8 million.  The film reportedly performed better in international markets.

Next weekend begins a string of new releases including Johnny Depp's The Rum Diary, who reprises his role as Hunter S. Thompson, the Shrek spin-off Puss In Boots, Justin Timberlake's new film In Time and Roland Emmerich's Anonymous.

Top 10 Domestic Box Office 10/21-10/23

(source: HollywoodReporter.com)

1.Paranormal Activity 3 - $54 million - new
2. Real Steel- $11.3 million - down 31% - $67.2 million total
3. Footloose - $10.9 million - down 30% - $30.9 million total
4. The Three Musketeers - $8.8 million - new
5. The Ides of March- $4.9 million - down 31% - $29.2 million total
6. Dolphin Tale- $4.2 million - down 33% - $64.4 million total
7. Moneyball- $4.1 million - down 26% - $63.7 million total
8. Johnny English Reborn - $3.8 million - new
9. The Thing - $3.1 million - down 63% - $14.1 million total
10. 50/50- $2.8 million - down 34% - $28.8 million total