Scary Good Box Office for Couples Retreat, Paranormal Activity


The numbers are in from a surprising weekend at the theaters, with two movies, Couples Retreat and Paranormal Activity, outperforming a lot of the expectations out there by a considerable margin. Seven million for Paranormal Activity? Thirty-five for Couples Retreat? Are you kidding me? No.

We’ll first deal with Couples Retreat, which opened to $12.5 million on Friday and cruised to a haul of $35.3 million.

I know what some people are saying: thirty-five million bucks – for this piece of junk??? This movie is at 13 percent at Rotten Tomatoes, folks, with scores much lower than a lot of the “fresh” movies that are all over the box office right now, yet its haul is the best opening weekend of the whole fall? Even our own Dr. Cole Abaius gave it a freaking D-plus. What gives?!

It’s easy to say, in unison, “I don’t get it” – but you can point to a number of obvious reasons why the box office was as good as it was, starting with the obvious fact that it had no competition in wide release at all. That’s number one. Second, never underestimate the power of women who wears a bikini to haul in the guys – in this case, several women. And the skimpy clothes on some of the guys attracted the ladies who made up most of the audiences. Third, never underestimate the power of Vince Vaughn to lift the box office of a movie – any movie. Whether its Four Christmases or The Break-Up, or any movie, really, Vaughn seems to deliver the moola just by being in the cast – although, on the flip side, he sure didn’t deliver the moola at all for Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show. Why that one flopped so badly, I don’t know.

Finally, people are in the mood for a movie where you could leave your brain in neutral at home. One guy told me that he wanted to go see Couples Retreat not in spite of its stupidity, but because of it.

So there you go. Couples Retreat is a hit. And the critics of America have tomatoes all over their faces, again. So what else is new. Anyway, that’s Couples Retreat.

The other big story is Paranormal Activity, and I can say I sort of saw this coming, but I didn’t forsee the extent of it. I knew something big was happening with this movie, that the buzz was through the roof, but I didn’t know how it would translate into money in 159 locations. Well, we got our answer now. This movie made not two million, not even five million, but over $7 million this weekend. It made $2.6 million on Friday alone and $2.8 million on Saturday. For the weekend, the movie’s average was $44,440. Its overall gross is already $8,280,000! And it isn’t even in wide release yet!

Suffice it to say that Paramount, the distributors, are going to go ahead with a wide release of Paranormal Activity sooner rather than later. A haul of $7 million in 159 locations is not just good, it’s unbelievable. This movie is going to be a blockbuster.

The results:

  1. Couples Retreat – $35,340,000
  2. Zombieland – $15,000,000
  3. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – $12,000,000
  4. Toy Story / Toy Story 2 (3D) – $7,674,000
  5. Paranormal Activity – $7,066,000
  6. Surrogates – $4,115,000
  7. The Invention of Lying – $3,370,000
  8. Whip It – $2,800,000
  9. Capitalism: A Love Story – $2,700,000
  10. Fame (2009) – $2,556,000

That is all for now. When we return later this coming week, we at the Reject Report go Where the Wild Things Are. See you then.

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