'Paranormal' beats 'Saw' at Friday boxoffice

Horror sequel bowed in second place; 'Wild Things' in third

Friday's boxoffice was a horror.

Lionsgate's seemingly never-ending "Saw" franchise squared off with Paramount's fifth-weekend expansion of "Paranormal Activity," and in something of an underdog upset, "Paranormal's" things that go bump in the night scared up more business than "Saw's" sadistic Jigsaw.

Oren Peli's R-rated "Paranormal" grabbed an estimated $7.6 million as it moved from 760 theaters last weekend to 1,945 locations in North America this frame. In the process, it also moved to first place for the day, up from its third-place ranking last weekend.

In second place, the R-rated "Saw VI," directed by Kevin Greutert, took in about $7 million on its opening day in 3,036 theaters -- it played in more than 1,000 locations more than "Paranormal." With the horror audience dividing between the two pictures, "Saw's" weekend take will fall well short of the $30.1 million opening of "Saw V" last year.

The other new genre title opening this weekend, Universal's PG-13 rated "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant," had to settle for a seventh-place showing. It's Friday total amounted to about $2.2 million from its 2,754 engagements.

Summit's release of Imagi Entertainment's younger-skewing toon "Astro Boy" pulled in just $1.8 million in 3,014 theaters. David Bowers' PG movie, with Freddie Highmore voicing Astro Boy, ranked eighth.

Making a more limited appeal to adult moviegoers by opening in 818 theaters, Fox Searchlight's historical romance "Amelia" cruised the lower altitudes. Mira Nair's PG film, starring Hilary Swank as the celebrated aviatrix, collected $1.3 million, which put it in 11th place.

Meanwhile, Warners' "Where the Wild Things Are," which took the boxoffice crown last week, settled into third place. Its opening Friday gross of $12.1 million dipped by 64% to $4.4 million as it entered its second weekend.

Rounding out the top five, Overturn's revenge tale "Law Abiding Citizen" was in fourth place as it took in $4.2 million on the first day of its second weekend. Beginning its third weekend, Universal's comedy "Couples Retreat" was fifth with $3.6 million.