In my review of Paranormal Activity 4, I speculated that the series had "jumped the shark" creatively -- an opinion shared by critics and fans alike, given its 28% RottenTomatoes rating and "C" CinemaScore grade -- but it appears that many viewers didn't bother to even watch the movie before reaching this conclusion, as the film earned a disappointing $29 million at the box office in its opening weekend. That was easily good enough for the top spot, but it was a significant drop from Paranormal Activity 3, which last year set an October record with a $52.6 million opening. It's also markedly off from Paranormal Activity 2, which opened with $40.7 million in 2010.
Still, it's a testament to the phenomenal track record of the franchise that a movie with a $5 million budget would somehow be deemed disappointing for earning "only" $30 million in one weekend. Even though PA 4 is likely to finish with the lowest gross of the series, it's safe to say it will easily be profitable enough to justify a fifth film -- and frankly, I hope there is another one, if only to resolve the ongoing storyline.