Weekend box office: After three weeks, Affleck’s ‘Argo’ takes the lead
But the high-profile ‘Cloud Atlas’ narrowly makes a distant #2
Showing the power of good word-of-mouth, Ben Affleck’s powerful “Argo” inched up the Top Ten list for the North American box office and became the #1 film in the land by a sizable margin. Oscar predictors are going into overdrive about this crowd-pleasing film that takes place during the Iranian hostage crisis, with some betting on three nominations for the 40-year-old star (Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture). Meanwhile, Warner Bros’ other end-of-the-year star-studded spectacular, “Cloud Atlas,” is confounding some critics and many moviegoers with its ambitious scope and, on its opening weekend, barely managed to eke ahead of “Hotel Transylvania.” Blame it on Halloween?
After two weeks in second place, “Argo” can finally be called the #1 film in America this weekend, with $12M in ticket sales (at 2,855 theaters) and a domestic gross of $60.5M. Opening to a polarized mix of raves and pans, “Cloud Atlas” barely made it to #2, earning $9.6M (at 2,008 theaters) while the #3 film,“Hotel Transylvania,” nipped at its heels with $9.4M (at 3,276 theaters) in its fifth week and a new domestic total of $130.3M. Continuing a Halloween theme of fun and horror, “Paranormal Activity 4” slipped to the #4 position, adding $8.5M (at 3,412 theaters) to its new domestic total of $42.4M in its second week. At #5, “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” came nowhere the box office opening of its predecessor, with only $8M (at 2,933 theaters) and a mountain of blistering reviews.
“Taken 2” slipped to #6 in its fourth week, bringing in $7.7M (at 2,995 theaters) for a domestic total to date of $117.1M. Holding steady at #7, “Here Comes the Boom” added $5.2M (at 2,491 theaters) to its domestic total that is now $30.3M while “Alex Cross,” at #8, was close behind with $5.1 in ticket sales and a domestic gross of $19.4M. The scary “Sinister” came in at #9, with $4.9M in ticket sales and a domestic total of $39.4M in its third week. And finally, the third new release to make the Top Ten, Paramount’s Halloween comedy “Fun Size,” earned $4.1M (at 3,014 theaters).
Moving ever closer to November’s Twilight juggernaut, the films that will likely make this list next week include Paramount’s “Flight” with Denzel Washington, Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph” with the voices of John C. Reilly, Jane Lynch, and Sarah Silverman (along with lots of positive buzz), and Russell Crowe in Universal’s martial arts epic, “The Man with the Iron Fists.” With Halloween and Hurricane Sandy behind us, let’s hope for a good moviegoing weekend—the last one before Election Day!