'Paranormal Activity' tops box office Official Trailer [HQ HD]

Film beats 'Saw VI' with a $22 million weekend haul


Paranormal Activity" won the weekend's frightfest smackdown.

Paramount's micro-budgeted ghost story topped the domestic boxoffice with an estimated $22 million from its second weekend in wide release as Lionsgate's gore-filled sequel "Saw VI" settled for a tarnished silver medal in a disappointing $14.8 million domestic debut. Warner Bros.' fantasy "Where the Wild Things Are" finished third with $14.4 million, dropping 56% from its chart-topping bow of a week earlier for a 10-day cume of $54 million.

Three other wide openers marked soft sessions:

The Summit-distributed animated feature "Astro Boy" rung up just $7 million in a drab sixth-place launch.

Universal's John C. Reilly-toplined "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" circled $6.3 million in eighth, also bowing well below pre-release expectations.

Fox Searchlight's Hilary Swank starrer "Amelia" landed outside the top 10 with $4 million from a barely wide 818 playdates.

Overture Films' crime thriller "Law Abiding Citizen" fell just 40% from its opening frame to register $12.7 million in fourth place and a $40.3 million cume. Universal's ensemble comedy "Couples Retreat" was fifth with $11.1 million and a $78.2 million cume through three weekends, while Sony's horror thriller "The Stepfather" dipped 44% in its sophomore session to $6.5 million in seventh place with a $20.4 million cume.

Collectively, the weekend's top 10 films rung up $105 million, or 10% less than top performances in the comparable frame last year.

But the downtick is unlikely to mar the upbeat mood of exhibitors arriving here for today'sMONDAY start of the four-day ShowEast confab. The industry has proven true to its recession-resistant rep this year, tracking 5% ahead of 2008 on a year-to-date basis.

Among the weekend's limited bows, IFC Films unspooled the Lars von Trier-directed "Antichrist" with solo playdates in six cities and grossed $73,500. That gave the controversially violent drama an encouraging $12,500 per engagement.

IDP/Samuel Goldwyn's comedy "(Untitled)" opened with $19,145 from two L.A.-area locations and one in New York for an auspicious $6,182 per site.

Freestyle Releasing debuted the comedy "Motherhood" -- starring Uma Thurman and Minnie Driver -- in 47 theaters and grossed $57,754, or just $1, 203 per venue.

Disney launched its annual re-release of "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D" in 105 locations and grossed $131,000, or a ho-hum $1,245 per site.

Elsewhere in the specialty market, Sony Pictures Classics' British drama "An Education" added 12 playdates for a total of 31 and grossed $408,002, or a smart $13,161 per engagement. Cume climbed to $980,896.

Elephant Eye's Chilean drama "The Maid" added five theaters for a total of six and grossed $44,080. That translated into a pleasing $7,346 per venue for the Spanish-language pic and pushed cume to $70,162.

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