Paranormal Activity 4, US Box Office 1

But Alex Cross fails to cross over

There are signs that the Paranormal Activity franchise’s demonic cash-grabbing powers might be on the wane. Although the latest entry premiered at the top of the US box office, its $30.2 million haul is the lowest since the first film (which built more on word of mouth) and nowhere near the record set by the third last year. But with a skimpy $5 million budget, it’s still earning well for Paramount and we’ve already been promised a fifth entry (plus a Spanish spin-off) next year.

There was good news for Argo, which held solidly in second, adding $16.6 million for a $43.1 million total so far and signs of good legs as awards season approaches. Hotel Transylvania managed to hop back up a place into third with $13.5 million and Taken 2 was down to fourth with $13.4 million. But neither Tyler Perry nor Summit will be pleased with Alex Cross, which launched in fifth to bad reviews, as the cop thriller earned $11.7 million. Still, a sequel deal is already floating around.

Sinister fell from third to sixth, its audience clearly impacted by Paranormal’s arrival. It made $9 million. Here Comes The Boom slipped to seventh with $8.5 million and Pitch Perfect was down to eighth with $7 million.

Frankenweenie took another tumble down to ninth this weekend, making $4.4 million, but perhaps it is destined – as was pointed out on this week’s Empire podcast – to become a cult favourite much like The Nightmare Before Christmas. In 10th place we find Looper, which took in $4.2 million this weekend for a $57.8 million total in the US so far.

To haunt the charts with a presence demonic enough to scare off a Detroit copper, head to Box Office Mojo.