Entertainment & Arts

Paranormal Activity film scares off box office rivals

Paranormal Activity 3
Image caption The first Paranormal Activity was filmed by Oren Peli on a video camera for just $15,000 (£9,000)

The third film in the Paranormal Activity franchise took $54m (£33.8m) in the US and Canada at the weekend - a record debut for a horror film.

As with its low-budget predecessors, it features a haunted house as well as video camera-style footage.

The film was also the biggest October opening in North American history.

Boxing robot film Real Steel fell to two while Footloose dropped a place to three. 3D film The Three Musketeers was the second highest new entry at four.

Paul Dergarabedian, of box office tracker Hollywood.com, said he had expected Paranormal Activity 3 to come in around the $35m (£21.9m) mark.

"There are certain brands that just transcend any kind of box office rhyme or reason - they just resonate," he said.

"These are shot in someone's house, they look like they're shot with a home video recorder and people just relate to it."

Prequel Paranormal Activity 3 centres around the discovery of disturbing home movie footage shot in 1988.

The first film became a word-of-mouth phenomenon in 2009.

Opening receipts from the latest take on the franchise beat the previous biggest horror debut - its predecessor Paranormal Activity 2 - which took $40.7m (£25.5m) when it opened a year ago.

It also beat the $50.4m (£31.6m) taken by Jackass 3D last year to score the biggest opening for an October release.

Action-adventure film The Three Musketeers, which stars Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans, took $8.8m (£5.5m) on its debut weekend.

Other new releases included Johnny English Reborn, starring Rowan Atkinson as the hapless spy, which opened in eighth spot with $3.8m (£2.4m).

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