If part of Paramount Picture's business model is to make cheap, disposable films you can't argue with it after Friday's results at the box office.
Showing there is no "Blair Witch" sequel curse for the "Paranormal Activity" franchise, "Paranormal Activity 2" opened to a scary $19 million including $6.3 million of midnight sales. Unlike the original which had a gradual, but impressive rollout last year, "PA2" opened wide and could make anywhere from $33-38 million by the time the weekend is done. That would easily surpass the biggest weekend of its predecessor which was $21.1 million. Considering how little the film cost (reportedly $3 million) and how little Paramount spent on advertising, "PA 2" should be a cash cow for the studio.
Speaking of huge moneymakers, Paramount's "Jackass 3-D" dropped to the second slot with a strong $7.7 million on Friday. That brings the stunt filled comedy's eight day gross to $73.1 million. So in a little over a week, "3-D" has surpassed "Jackass Number Two's" total box office of $72.7 million. Pretty remarkable for a 10-year-old franchise. And yes, $100 million is not out of the question.
The third slot went to the Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren thriller "Red" with a good $4.5 million and what could be anywhere from $13-15 million three day gross. With $33 million so far, the Summit Entertainment release is looking like it will top out at $65-70 million at best.
Expanding to 2,181 theaters was Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter" in the fourth slot with $4 million. The Matt Damon drama should gross between $11-13 million for the weekend.
Far behind in fifth was critic's favorite "The Social Network" with another $2.25 million and what should be a $6-7 million frame. The Oscar contender has grossed $67.9 million to date.
Look for updated weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix or sign up for our breaking news alerts to get instant notification.