Michael Jackson ‘This Is It’ Tops ‘Paranormal Activity’ at Weekend Box Office

The Michael Jackson documentary This Is it took over at number one in the weekend box office, pushing low-budget horror hit Paranormal Activity down to the number two spot.

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This Is It landed at number one at the box office over the weekend, raking in a domestic total of $21.3 million. The film has so far garnered over $101 million worldwide since its release five days ago.

Low-budget horror darling Paranormal Activity slipped to number two in the box office over the weekend, raking in $16.5 million, for a total of $84.8 million overall. Not too shabby for a film reportedly filmed for somewhere around $15,000 and purchased for only $300,000 by Paramount. In contrast, Sony Pictures paid $60 million for the film rights to This Is It.

Sony has announced it will extend the theatrical run for This Is It for an additional three weeks in the U.S. and one to three weeks overseas.

>> Previously: Michael Jackson ‘This Is It’ Director Shrugs Off Oscar Buzz

Possible ‘Paranormal Activity’ Sequel in the Works

The low-budget horror flick Paranormal Activity slashed its way to the top of the box office charts this weekend. Naturally, speculation about whether Paramount was planning a sequel quickly followed. According to the studio, the answer is… maybe.

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Paranormal Activity blasted to number one this weekend, slaying the much pricier Saw VI, the latest offering in Lions Gate Entertainment’s seemingly endless Saw series. The film, which was shot for something around $15,000, has raked in over $60 million so far.

When questioned about a possible sequel to the surprise blockbuster film, Paramount Chairman Brad Gray said only: “We have the rights on a worldwide basis to do Paranormal 2 and we’re looking to see if that makes some sense.”

Hell, even if the sequel was a total bomb, Paramount would still walk away with a shit-eating grin. The studio spent a lousy $300,000 to acquire the film and has spent far less in marketing than on most Hollywood blockbusters – relying on a campaign geared to create Internet fan buzz to launch the movie to the top. With Paranormal Activity geared to earn over $100 million, it only makes sense to think about a sequel.

Then again, let’s not forget what happened to the sequel to The Blair Witch Project. Wait… what? There was a sequel?

>> Previously: ‘Paranormal Activity’ Slashes ‘Saw VI’ in Box Office Horror Battle

‘Paranormal Activity’ Slashes ‘Saw VI’ in Box Office Horror Battle

Paramount’s low-budget horror flick Paranormal Activity slashed its way to the top of the weekend box office, slaying Lions Gate’s competing horror film Saw VI. Paranormal Activity, which was reportedly filmed for just $15,000, has now reportedly raked in over $60 million since the movie’s initial release.

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In a brilliant marketing scheme, Paramount initially released Paranormal Activity to only a small selection of theaters nationwide. Then they launched a massive media campaign on TV and the Internet telling fans to “demand” the movie be released in their city. As fan response grew, the studio released the movie in more and more theaters, first cracking into the top ten box office films two weeks ago.

This weekend, with the film playing in 1,945 theaters across the country, Paranormal Activity swept the box office, landing the number one spot in theaters. Lions Gate Entertainment’s Saw VI couldn’t compete with the buzz, falling short and landing in the second spot for its debut in theaters this weekend. Saw VI‘s debut was especially sad because it played in over 1,000 more theaters than Paranormal Activity. Fail!

Last week’s top film, Where the Wild Things Are, fell hard to third place in the top ten, followed by Law Abiding Citizen, starring Gerard Butler and the Universal comedy Couples Retreat.

>> Latest: Possible ‘Paranormal Activity’ Sequel in the Works