Weekend Box Office Recap

The Michael Jackson documentary "This Is It" took the top spot, clearing an estimated $21 million according to studio estimates. But that's no surprise, since fan appreciation and good pre-release hype helped drive it forward in an otherwise soft box office weekend. Essentially behind-the-scenes b-roll that remains superficial, never really delving into a deeper exploration of the man, it's getting mostly favorable reviews and Rotten Tomatoes has it pegged at 80% fresh. Still, some people are underwhelmed.

Dave Edwards of the UK's Daily Mirror says, "As an exercise in wringing every last penny from Jackson's legacy, the movie may be a success. But if you're looking for a tribute to the man who once took pop to its absolute zenith, this most certainly isn't it. "

Last weeks big winner, the micro-budget thriller "Paranormal Activity" continues to entertain audiences and astound studio execs. The little indie film that could has been in theaters for 38 days now and has powered its way through a US domestic gross of $84 million. The astounding part is that the production budget for the film is estimated to be somewhere between $11,000 and $15,000. Thats less than what Michael Bay budgets for hair care products and tanning beds.

Paramount purchased the flick for $300,000 and spent about $10 million in prints and advertising. Assuming a budget of$15,000, that means the studio is looking at a return on investment in the unbelievable realm of 565,000%, making "Paranormal" the most successful movie ever made.

And naturally, the film's success has made director Oren Peli the next golden boy of Hollywood. According to Movieweb, Peli's next film "Area 51" has no less than six different studios in a bidding war for the rights.

And meanwhile, the biggest loser of the weekend goes to "Where the Wild Things Are," falling 63%from its previous week's numbers.

Here's the top ten for the weekend:

1 (new) Michael Jackson's This Is It $21,300,000
2 (1) Paranormal Activity $16,540,000
3 (4) Law Abiding Citizen $7,303,000 -
4 (5) Couples Retreat $6,097,390
5 (2) Saw VI $5,560,000
6 (3) Where the Wild Things Are $5,081,000
7 (8) The Stepfather $3,400,000
8 (6) Astro Boy $3,035,000
9 (11) Amelia $3,000,000 -
10 (7) Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant $2,809,080

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