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October 26, 2009

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'Paranormal Activity' slays 6th 'Saw' movie

"PARANORMAL Activity" has beaten part six of the "Saw" franchise in a weekend battle of fright films in the United States.

The upstart chiller "Paranormal Activity" went into nationwide release and took over the No. 1 spot with US$22 million. That compares to just US$14.8 million for the debut of "Saw VI," a franchise that has been an annual fixture before the October Halloween holiday since 2004.

It was the worst opening ever for Lionsgate's "Saw" series, whose previous low was US$18.3 million for the original movie. Subsequent installments of the "Saw" franchise all opened at US$30 million or better.

This time, horror fans simply gravitated toward "Paranormal Activity" instead of "Saw VI."

After four weeks in narrower release, distributor Paramount slotted "Paranormal Activity" into 1,945 theaters. That still was just under two-thirds of the 3,036 theaters taking "Saw VI."

"Paramount Activity" raised its total haul to US$62.5 million. The low-budget movie was shot for a reported US$15,000 but has become a horror sensation because of online fan buzz.

The previous weekend's No. 1 movie, the Warner Bros. tale "Where the Wild Things Are," fell to No. 3, just behind "Saw VI" with US$14.4 million. Spike Jonze's adaptation of the beloved children's book by Maurice Sendak raised its total to US$54 million.

Summit Entertainment's "Astro Boy" opened at No. 6 with US$7 million.


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