Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The Success of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Torment the Box Office Predictions

Scott predicted and hoped for a failure from Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, but that isn't what turned out happening.  You can find out why in Scott's latest box office analysis.

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The new year has entered into theatres, and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones be its name. While I wish I could have started the year of predictions off with a bang, I have to admit defeat on the very first attempt of the year as I was quite far off with The Marked Ones. Please, let me run down my list of reasonable excuses as to why this happened…

Well, I have nothing. The fault is all on me. This film was a tricky one to predict as there were many factors swirling around it. First of all, it is part of a lucrative franchise of horror movies that annually (except for 2013) make a large profit as well as make me question why I call myself a horror fan. While this should help determine success, this movie was in an odd place of being a spin-off and not an actual numbered sequel.

Not only that, but this spin-off was generated not around story, but around skin colour. It was Hispanic version of the franchise, which is generally always about rich white people who we don’t care about and are counting down the moments until we get to see them perish.

Perhaps I am coming off as negative towards the franchise, which is quite true. I am negative towards it, but that is not what led me to predicting The Marked Ones to bring in $10 million for its opening weekend when it ended up hauling in $18 million. The franchise is on the decline, and the spin-off factor really was playing around in my head as factors that would lead to it being a big bomb. While it performed above my expectations, it is the lowest opening weekend for a Paranormal Activity sequel and came in 38% shy of what 2012’s Paranormal Activity 4 was able to bring in during its opening weekend. There will be another sequel in October as Paranormal Activity 5 comes out a year after it was originally supposed to and will shed some light on the future of the franchise. Basically, if it continues the trend of diminishing returns it will most likely be the beginning of the end.

The real interesting story from the box office this past weekend is the performance of Disney’s Frozen, which was able to retake first place after already having been in wide release for six weeks. The animated film debuted in the number two spot behind The Hunger Games: Catching Fire but grabbed the rank of number one the very next weekend. The last weekend before the children head back to school was the perfect time for this movie to reassert itself, and it will be interesting to see if the continued financial success of the movie will play into nominations for Oscars. Ever since expanding to wide release, Frozen has held a place in the top three and has been able to generate almost $300 million domestically (currently it is the fourth highest domestic movie of the year) and $540 million worldwide. The current top grossing animated film of 2013 is Despicable Me 2, which has globally earned $921 million.

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