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Weekend Box Office Top Ten: 'Argo' Sings, 'Cloud Atlas' Doesn't

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood October 28, 2012 at 1:04PM

This pre-Halloween weekend, one Warner Bros. release soared to the top of the box office line-up on strong word of mouth. The other, with a C+ Cinemascore, could be sinking fast. "Cloud Atlas," their expensive epic from three major directors, failed to gross $10 million, a soft opening for this much-ballyhooed $100-million epic. But "Argo" climbed to #1, showing more strength in its third week than robust initial reaction indicated.

'Paranormal Activity 4'
Paramount 'Paranormal Activity 4'
4. Paranormal Activity 4 (Paramount) Week 2 - Last Week #1

$8,675,000 (-70%) in 3,412 theaters (no change); PSA: $2,542; Cumulative: $42,632,000

Huge fall off, but in this weak field, this was still good enough for fourth place. This is less than half of what the second weekend was for "PA3" last year.

What comes next: The low cost of this series still makes moving forward a reasonable move.

5. (tie) Silent Hill: Revelation (Open Road) NEW - Cinemacore: C; Metacritic score: 17

$8,000,000 in 2,933 theaters; PSA: $2,728; Cumulative: $8,000,000

Perhaps one too many new horror films this month, but this still is a major disappointment. Projected as the most likely #1 film this week, it opened weak on Friday and fell hard since. A sequel to Sony's 2006 original, this Canadian production was acquired by the AMC/Regal Theater combine Open Road with a reported guarantee of $20 million for marketing. It now will ultimately gross under that. Also, this suggests that 3-D is getting to be less of a draw for routine films.

What comes next: A quick departure.

5.  (tie) Taken 2 (20th Century-Fox) Week 4 - Last Week: #3

$8,000,000 (-40%) in 2,995 theaters (-494); PSA: $2,671; Cumulative: $117,389,000

Solid fourth week for this French Liam Neeson action thriller that still is showing strength.

What comes next: Though it is starting to lose theaters, this will still be around for a while.

7. Here Comes the Boom (Sony) Week 3 - Last Week: #7

$5,500,000 (-35%) in 2,491 theaters (-523); PSA: $2,208; Cumulative: $30,610,000

Maintaining its position shows a degree of good reaction after its weak opening.

What comes next: Kevin James showed enough of a fanbase to guarantee that he'll be back, though perhaps retooled a bit.

8. Sinister (Lionsgate) Week 3 - Last Week: #6

$5,070,000 (-43%) in theaters (-195); PSA: $2,347; Cumulative: $39,515,000

Helped by the pre-Halloween horror interest, this actually held respectfully enough as this gets into success territory.

What comes next: Post-holiday, this should disappear quickly.

9. Alex Cross (Lionsgate) Week 2 - Last Week: #5

$5,050,000 (-56%) in 2,541 theaters (+2); PSA: $1,987; Cumulative: $19,369,000

About what would have been expected after last week's underwhelming opening.

What comes next: This is not a performance that would justify continuing the series, which had been the expectation.

10. Fun Size (Paramount) NEW - Cinemascore: B; Metacritic Score: 39

 $4,060,000 in 3,014 theaters; PSA:; Cumulative: $4,060,000

This low budget ($14 million) Nickelodeon production, from a group of people previously successful in TV, underperformed this weekend. It's not a great time to release a new kids' film with all the Halloween activity competing for their attention (as well as "Hotel Transylvania.") Still, this is a real disappointment.

What comes next: With Disney's animated "Wreck It Ralph" opening next week, this has little room to grow even if it does get good word of mouth.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Argo, Cloud Atlas, Tom Hanks, Ben Affleck

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.