Paranormal Activity 4 scares box office with 57 million; 3D addition behind March 2013 delay of GI Joe 2; Hotel Transylvania declared highest grossing film of the fall

 

 

Paranormal Activity 4 scares moviegoers in time for Halloween! I’m Realistic Fish Head. The box office is spooked again in a good way as the ghosts return to where the last Paranormal Activity left off! Gene Scallop told us that we haven’t seen the last of them ever since they first arrived!

 

Gene: Boo! Looks like Halloween came early for Paramount as they top the box office with 57 million smackers, the most money ever than Paranormal Activity 3. Let’s investigate this ghastly caper!

 

This film was 12% better than the last Paranormal Activity totaling up to 125 million smackers. This R-rated film continues the story of strange goings on in a normal neighborhood only to discover that those ghosts are here for more spooking! 3,412 theaters including IMAX took on the ghosts head on. With more people getting crowded at this time of year, this Halloween season has been abuzz with more horror than ever!

 

Alex Cross based on the book I, Alex Cross, opened 12 million smackers lower than expected as the crime novel turned movie hit didn’t meet up with audiences despite the A rating. With the team up of Summit Entertainment and Alliance Entertainment, QED Entertainment and Tyler Perry have possibly dealt a sequel to the movie Double Cross starring the famous actor as a crime watcher and a psychologist. The critics were on the harsh side on the news.

 

Argo held to its second position last week, but it gets trumped again as its 14% decrease was the widest percentage for an R-rated film as award season approaches.

 

With Halloween approaching fast, Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 4 spooks 1st as both Argo and Taken 2 move out in 2nd and 3rd, Hotel T makes extra room in 4th, and Alex Cross investigates in 5th as critics displease Tyler Perry’s next crime film.

 

During our summer coverage, Madagascar 3 was the highest grossing film with 27,205, then Disney/Pixar’s Brave made more than that, Ice Age 4 made 69,492, Finding Nemo 3D swam with 40 million smackers. And right into Fall, Franken weenie made 22 million smackers. Who’s the top scare of animation? Hotel T, who scored 5,202,139 smackers, the most highest grossing film in animation history! Kudos to Sony for achieving that mark.

 

Also in our summer coverage, we recently highlighted the speculation that GI Joe: Retaliation was delayed because the movie wasn’t in 3D since Ted took the spot away. We we’re right! Angie tells me why the 9 month delay forced the Joes to go to Plan B:

 

Angie Angelfish (via Dateline Hollywood)-EXCLUSIVE: Ever since I scooped the news a week ago about G.I. Joe: Retaliation moving from June 29th to March 29th, 2013, no one was buying Paramount‘s excuse that “adding 3D” was the only reason for the 9 month delay. Least of all me. So I did some snooping. And what I found out shows the difficult decisions which Hollywood moguls are facing in this challenging box office environment when even franchises aren’t sure things. (Witness last weekend’s Men In Black 3.) And at what point and at what cost do the top execs make changes in their films already shooting or in post-production or even five weeks out from release in order to head off a disaster?

Hollywood was gob smacked that Paramount vacated the primo date this summer, especially because the studio blew a wad on a Super Bowl commercial and already was starting TV and outdoor ads for GI Joe 2. Not to mention the toys, warehouses full of them ready and waiting, already on shelves. Or the big screen trailer attacked this past weekend to MIB3. But the fact is that Paramount became extremely concerned about G.I. Joe 2‘s box office prospects worldwide after its test scores were mediocre to bad. Reshoots were needed. Plus, the moguls realized what a complete miscalculation it was to kill off Channing Tatum in the sequel. And even more so at the start of the film. You will remember that Tatum wasn’t a star when the first G.I. Joe was released. But since then his back-to-back successes in The Vow and 21 Jump Street have made him into a draw. And it turned out that the only bright spot for audiences as a result of the G.I. Joe 2 testing was the aborted relationship between Tatum and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Plus look at the movie poster for Retaliation: you wouldn’t even know Tatum is in the sequel. Now the movie is being reworked — and reshoots don’t lose a valuable leading man like Tatum by killing him off. “The 3D is an excuse as to not reveal the Tatum of it all,” one of my sources tells me. Of course this June Tatum appears in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike as a stripper (inspired by Tatum’s own experiences, pre-stardom). My sources insist Paramount didn’t want uniformed Channing to compete with stripping Channing on the same weekend. Not with those abs.

Here is how Paramount insiders explain to me what happened. And clearly it’s not just because “We’re going to do a conscientious 3D job because we’ve seen how it can better box office internationally” now that Russia and China are building new 3D theaters by the week, as the studio said a week ago:

“This was a case of letting a schedule to fill a summer slot dictate the film not being in 3D even though we knew that would be the most commercial version of the film. Then in the spring there were 2 big events. First John Carter lost $200M despite the best efforts of the Pixar brain trust. But the 3D film managed to gross over $200M overseas, nearly tripling its U.S. take.

“Also Channing Tatum had a breakout spring, starring in The Vow and 21 Jump Street. In our first screening of the film the reaction from audiences was good but with 2 big concerns: 1) They didn’t like the fact that Channing and The Rock really didn’t have any time to develop a friendship before Channing died, and 2) Why wasn’t it going to be in 3D? We went back and shot another week with Channing to develop more of his story with The Rock, which made the film play much better. But we didn’t have the time to be in 3D.

“Then a week ago Battleship basically had the same performance as John Carter – $60M-$70M U.S. and just over $200M international. That was just a wake-up call that said to us we need to offer the best version of the film irrespective of summer market share to ensure the best possible performance. And not being in 3D will cost us a ton of business internationally.”

But the big question is how much this deliberate delay of G.I. Joe 2‘s release will affect the pic’s cost. After all, the cost of MIB3 soared when the time travel elements of Etan Cohen’s script had to be re-worked by Jeff Nathanson who needed more time to pull off the tricky plot device while Cohen worked on another project. So the film shut down for about six weeks, which is a rarity for a major tent pole, and then Cohen came back to finish the movie. That caused the cost to skyrocket from a range of $225M (which is what Sony claims as the budget) to $300M (which is what rival studios say it really was). Between that and all the gross profit participants, that’s a lot of coin before Sony sees profit. Of course, Paramount had to talk its partners on GI Joe 2 into the extra nine months of carrying costs – MGM, which has 25%, and David Ellison’s Skydance, which has another 25%. Paramount sources claim to me that the budget for the $125M-budgeted actioner is still under control. I’m not sure I believe their claim that the changes will result in just $5M more:

“Several 3D houses had already approached us about doing the film in 3D. This move gives us the time to do it right. We are having conversations with Stereo D and Prime Focus about doing the 3D work for a reduced fee in exchange for a piece of 3D upside. Also, interest rates are very low right now. So 9 months does not have a huge impact on budget. It should stay under $130M.”

Meanwhile, other sources tell Deadline that G.I. Joe 2 director Jon M. Chu is “shell-shocked” over the release date move. Paramount kept him on a very tight leash from the beginning of the production. Among other things, they wouldn’t let him bring onboard David Nicksay, who has worked with Chu as executive producer on the Step Up movies and the Justin Bieber documentary. Even The Rock felt forced to calm fan fears about the film like in this Twitter exchange on May 23rd when the delay announcement came down: DwayneJohnson ‏@TheRock It will be. Designing new scenes to enhance 3D. RT: @JimmyinGA: Was looking forward to GI Joe next month. Hope the 3D is worth the wait.

True, Paramount had luck delaying Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island to give the director his biggest box office hit ever. Now the question is whether lightning can strike twice.

 

For the Joe’s sake, I hope this won’t dampen their chances once the film debuts in March. Speaking of low chances…

 

498 fans sign in on the Penguins tally off the news of the flightless heroes last missions of the year this November. As we continue to highlight the last Saturday of new episodes in October, how will each Saturday in November turn out for Team Skipper? Keep watching as they begin soon.

 

Next weekend, it’s a spook full of premieres such as Power Rangers Super Samurai, TUFF Puppy, and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness will try to fight the weirdest ghosts, monsters, and spooks that will terrorize the human world and the toon world altogether! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, Beware of paranormal anomalies!

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