Second place went to new horror movie "Paranormal Activity:
The Marked Ones", a spinoff from the hit low-budget "Paranormal
"Frozen," which opened on the eve of the long Thanksgiving
holiday weekend in November, collected $20.7 million in ticket
sales to claim the weekend box office crown, ahead of "The
Marked Ones" which earned $18.2 million from Friday through
Sunday, according to estimates from Rentrak.
Kristen Bell provides the voice for the lead character in
"Frozen," the story of a Scandinavian princess on a search for
her missing sister, the queen.
The hit film is nearing a $300 million domestic total and has
collected $640 million in global ticket sales, making it the
highest-grossing Disney Animation release of all-time behind
only "The Lion King," Disney said.
"The Marked Ones" introduces new characters and a different
story to the hit "Paranormal" franchise produced by horror
filmmaker Jason Blum.
The new installment, designed to appeal specially to Latino
moviegoers, features Hispanic actors and some Spanish dialogue
in a story about a young man (Andrew Jacobs) in Oxnard,
California, who learns he is marked for possession by a demon.
Like its predecessors, the film uses a "found footage" style
that captures encounters with invisible forces on camera.
Distributor Paramount Pictures released "The Marked Ones" in
January to give audiences something new after the family fare
and adult dramas that crowded theaters around Christmas.
Box office forecasters had predicted the movie would start with
$19 million to $23 million over the weekend. It cost just $5
million to make, a small sum for a Hollywood release.
"Clearly the (inclement) weather was a factor. Everyone took a
hit," said Don Harris, president of domestic theatrical
distribution for Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc. "But you tend
to get the business back the next weekend," he added.
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Harris said the film played, as expected, to a
predominantly Hispanic audience in the largest theaters, performing
especially well in the Southwest. But he noted that it also did not
underperform among other demographic groups.
The first four "Paranormal" films, each released in October, have
pulled in $720.7 million in worldwide ticket sales, according to the
Box Office Mojo website. "Paranormal Activity 5" is scheduled for
release in October.
"Smaug," which took in $16.3 million after three
straight weeks at No.1 to fall to third place, is the second
installment in the "Hobbit" fantasy series and follows the quest of
Bilbo Baggins and a band of dwarves as they clash with a
Rounding out the charts, director Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of
Wall Street," which stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the biographical
story of a drug-snorting Wall Street scam artist, took the No. 4
spot with $13.4 million.
Fifth place went to 1970s crime caper "American Hustle." The
critically praised film stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley
Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in a story loosely based on a real-life
corruption scandal involving U.S. politicians, and took in $13.2
"The Wolf of Wall Street" was distributed by Paramount Pictures, a
unit of Viacom. Sony Corp's movie studio released "American Hustle."
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud;
editing by Sophie
Hares and Marguerita Choy)
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