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New in Theaters Jan. 03: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

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By Chris Kavan - 01/02/14 at 10:46 AM CT

Last week, despite the best efforts of deluge the box office with plenty of new faces and films, almost nothing clicked with audiences and only The Wolf of Wall Street was able to crack the top five (and there were more bombs than success). Still, it turned out that 2013 was just able to pass 2012 as the highest-grossing year ever for Hollywood. Now that it is 2014 - how are things going to start off? I'm thinking that the box office is going to look very similar to last weekend - as there is only one new offering on the table at all.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES It seems that January has overtaken October as the month to release horror films. Last year Mama turned out to be a success, earning over $71 million on just a $15 million budget. In 2012 it was Devil Inside, which, despite some terrible reviews, still made over $50 million (on just a $1 million budget). Now we have a new entry into the venerable Paranormal Activity series. This is billed as spin-off (that ties into the other films in the series) and puts a Latino twist on things. This may turn out to be an excellent decision - as Latino audiences have embraced horror films. You take that chunk of movie-goers, along with those who are horror fans and Paranormal Activity fans and I'm saying this could have a better opening than any film last weekend. I don't know if it will be enough to unseat The Hobbit - but even if reviews are terrible, horror films in particular seem to be immune to critics. While I think the Paranormal Activity films have taken the same route as the Saw franchise (as in diminishing returns with each sequel) this spin-off has injected some new life into a tired series. We'll see if this translates to a decent opening or not.

With just one new films opening - it's going to come down to whether the big blockbusters continue to perform well or if an upstart horror film can follow the past two years trends and open to some surprising numbers. I'll see you on Sunday with the full report.


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