At The Movies: Vince Vaughn’s ‘Couples Retreat’ Tops The Box Office, ‘Paranormal Activity’ Breaks Records

By Tim Boswell  |  10/12/2009

2009-10-12 - At The Movies - Couples RetreatVince Vaughn made his mark on the box office this weekend, taking the top spot with his new film, "Couples Retreat," beating out last week's winner "Zombieland," as well as rising horror flick "Paranormal Activity."

"Couples Retreat", which also stars Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman and Malin Akerman, raked in just over $35 million to take the slot as the weekend's top film.

"Zombieland" landed at #2 this weekend, taking in $15 million in its second week, taking its total just below $50 million.

Down one to #3 is "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," earning another $12 million; at #4 was the re-releases in 3D of "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" with $7.6 millon; and to round out the top 5 is "Paranormal Activity" raking in just over $7 million.

"Paranormal Activity" was shot for a reported $15,000 said reports, and played in just 160 cinemas, but still managed to average a whopping $44,163 a theater, compared with $11,780 in 3,000 theaters for "Couples Retreat."

"You almost do a double take when you look at that theater count for a movie in the top five," Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for, told the Associated Press. "That's amazing. That's unprecedented."

Paramount has been pushing the new film in a unique way, asking fans to DEMAND IT at if they'd like it to go nationwide. The goal was 1 million demands, which they have already met.

The horror flick is fiction shot in documentary style, similar to the way "The Blair Witch Project" was done 10 years ago. It's about a young man tries to record strange doings and apparitions in the house he shares with his girlfriend.

According to Paramount, "Paranormal Activity" had a record weekend for a movie playing in fewer than 200 theaters, surpassing the $3.7 million haul for "Platoon" in 174 theaters early in its run in 1987.

So far, its grossed $8.3 million. It is now expected to expand to several hundred more theaters next weekend, again adding new markets based on where it gets the most requests.

Next weekend, watch out for new flicks like the Jamie Foxx/Gerard Butler thriller "Law Abiding Citizen," the horror film "The Stepfather," and the family adventure "Where the Wild Things Are" with Benicio Del Toro and Forest Whitaker."

This weekend's top 10 is as follows:

1 - "Couples Retreat," $35.3 million.
2 - "Zombieland," $15 million.
3 - "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," $12 million.
4 - "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" in 3-D, $7.7 million.
5 - "Paranormal Activity," $7.1 million.
6 - "Surrogates," $4.1 million.
7 - "The Invention of Lying," $3.4 million.
8 - "Whip It," $2.8 million.
9 - "Capitalism: A Love Story," $2.7 million.
10 - "Fame," $2.6 million.