I don’t make it a habit of doing a recap of the weekly box office, of which the top five can be seen at the right of the page. But I felt it necessary this week with Paramount’s Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension releasing. I’m a big fan of Paramount Pictures and while their releases have been intentionally sparse over the last year, there has been some controversy surrounding this latest release.
Paramount has decided to break the usual theatrical exclusivity window with Paranormal Activity and next week’s Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. The studio has opted to release these “quick burn” titles with the window to on demand and digital HD a lot sooner than the traditional window. Like just a few weeks. You can read a great recap of this decision and its ramifications over at Deadline.
As you can see below I added a number six spot for Paranormal Activity to the usual top five list and I did it for very good reason. While the film was the sixth top movie at the box office the movie was also boycotted by several major theatre chains in the United States. Meaning that the film was locked out of the big chains and was restricted to a limited release. But while Paranormal Activity was the #6 at the box office it was actually the #1 film in per theatre revenue.
The Martian was #1 and had an average of $4,538 per theatre. Paranormal Activity had an average of $4,952 per theatre. If major theatre chains had not boycotted Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, and it had been available on as many screens as The Martian, the film might have made as much as $17.3 million over the weekend.
That would have made Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension the #1 film at the box office.
It reminds you how much politics and bullshit can reign surpreme in Hollywood.