Box Office: Wild Things Beat Back Citizen, Paranormal Activity Juggernaut Rolls On

Who says it’s all about the kids? The weekend box office proves that adult moviegoers still have some clout, as they flocked to see Spike Jonze’s adaptation of “Where the Wild Things Are” to the tune of $32.5 million, according to studio estimates. The equally adult “Law Abiding Citizen”, starring Gerard Butler as a vengeful father who takes his vengeance out on the city of Philadelphia and Jamie Foxx also scored well in its debut, clearing out $21 million in change. Both films successfully fought of middling reviews (and mostly negative reviews for “Citizen”) to hit just the right note in their respective debuts.

Meanwhile, the big news is that Oren Peli’s little horror movie that could took in a whopping $20 million in its fourth week of release, the first week where the $15,000 dollar movie was expanded into 760 theaters for the first time. The film has done so well ($33.7 million so far from very limited screenings in its first three weeks) that Paramount will be expanding the film, a faux documentary about a couple haunted by a ghost in their house, into 1,800 and 2,000 extra theaters next week and onto Halloween. The film is being compared (and rightfully so) to 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project”, which rode intense word of mouth to the tune of $248 million worldwide gross, including $140 million at home and God knows how many parodies on TV and other medium.

The weekend’s other new film, a remake of the ’80s horror movie “The Stepfather”, landed in the fifth spot with $12.3 million, which isn’t necessarily a bad result. The film was made for a moderate $20 million, and should easily recover its production budget with a second or third week in theaters. It should also do well on DVD and cable; these type of movies almost always do. Unfortunately that might lead to “The Stepfather 2”.

Box Office Top 10 (via):

.1 Where the Wild Things Are $32,470,000 $32,470,000
.2 Law Abiding Citizen $21,250,000 $21,250,000
.3 Paranormal Activity $20,163,000 $33,717,000
.4 Couples Retreat $17,949,000 $63,339,000
.5 The Stepfather (2009) $12,300,000 $12,300,000
.6 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $8,100,000 $108,284,000
.7 Zombieland $7,800,000 $60,823,000
.8 Toy Story / Toy Story 2 (3D) $3,011,000 $28,594,000
.9 Surrogates $1,922,000 $36,332,000
.10 The Invention of Lying $1,905,000 $15,495,000