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'Paranormal Activity 4' tops box office with $30M debut; drop from last 2 installments

Kathryn Newton appears in a scene from the 2012 film, 'Paranormal Activity 4.' (Paramount Pictures)
October 21, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Paramount's "Paranormal Activity 4" led the box office this weekend, debuting at No. 1 with $30.2 million.

That's a big drop from the last two "Paranormal" installments, which took in $40 million and $50 million during their opening weekends. In "Paranormal Activity 4," a family witnesses strange events in their neighborhood when a woman and a mysterious child move in across the street.

Ben Affleck's Iran hostage tale "Argo" held its No 2. spot, raking in $16.6 million in its second weekend -- a drop of just 15 percent from its debut. Big studio releases often drop 50 percent or more in subsequent weekends, but "Argo" has proven a hit with critics and audiences alike, earning Academy Awards buzz and strong word of mouth that should give it a long run at theaters. "Argo" raised its domestic total to $43.2 million.

Adam Sandler's animated hit "Hotel Transylvania" fell to the No. 3 spot with $13.5 million, pushing its domestic earnings to $119 million. And Liam Neeson's action sequel "Taken 2," which had been No. 1 the previous two weekends, slipped to fourth place with $13.4 million, lifting its domestic haul to $106 million.

"Alex Cross," starring Tyler Perry as author James Patterson's brilliant criminal profiler, failed to find an audience and had a slow start, opening at No. 5 with $11.8 million.

The top 10 films of the weekend:

1. "Paranormal Activity 4," $30.2 million ($26.5 million international)
2. "Argo," $16.6 million ($1.2 million international)
3. "Hotel Transylvania," $13.5 million ($14.5 million international)
4. "Taken 2," $13.4 million ($23.6 million international)
5. "Alex Cross," $11.8 million
6. "Sinister," $9 million ($2.3 million international).
7. "Here Comes the Boom," $8.5 million
8. "Pitch Perfect," $7 million ($320,000 international)
9. "Frankenweenie," $4.4 million ($4.1 million international)
10. "Looper," $4.2 million ($5.6 million international)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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