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'Paranormal Activity 2' summons $20.1 mil at the box office on Friday

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paranormal-activities-2So much for the sophomore slump. Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 2 frightened away its competition and registered a quite supernatural $20.1 million on Friday, according to early estimates. That number includes the $6.3 million the horror sequel earned from Thursday midnight screenings — a late-night record for an R-rated movie. Paramount had been cautiously forecasting Paranormal 2 to match the $21.1 million its predecessor grossed on its wide-release debut, but the sequel now seems headed for a weekend tally of $40 million. Not too shabby for a film with a $3 million budget.

Jackass 3D, also a Paramount release, dropped 66 percent from last Friday for an estimated grab of $7.6 million. While that may seem like a particularly steep drop, the stunt film’s business was front-loaded last weekend as Jackass enthusiasts stormed theaters on opening day. Jackass 3D should finish the weekend around $23 million, for a more sensible drop of about 55 percent. The gray-haired actioner Red landed in third place, falling only 38 percent for $4.5 million. In fourth place was Clint Eastwood’s drama Hereafter, which expanded into 2,181 theaters and grossed $4.1 million. The $50 million film, which stars Matt Damon as a psychic who communicates with the dead, will likely wind up with a bit more than $12 million for the weekend. And in fifth place, The Social Network kept chugging along with $2.3 million — a scant 32 percent drop from last weekend. Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.

1. Paranormal Activity 2 — $20.1 mil

2. Jackass 3D — $7.6 mil

3. Red — $4.5 mil

4. Hereafter — $4.1 mil

5. The Social Network — $2.3 mil

Box Office Preview: ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ attempts to scare its way into first place

More Paranormal Activity 2 from EW: Katie Featherston exclusive Q&A