By John Young
Updated October 22, 2010 at 07:57 PM EDT

The demons, and quite a few moviegoers, were out last night for the midnight debut of Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 2, which grossed $6.3 million from 12:00 a.m. screenings, according to studio estimates. That figure is the highest midnight gross for an R-rated film, besting Watchmen‘s $4.6 million take from last year. It also smashes the record for the largest October midnight opening, which was set all of one week ago when Jackass 3D collected $2.5 million. Paramount has been heavily promoting Paranormal Activity 2 as a “midnight movie,” and this early turnout practically ensures that the sequel will surpass its predecessor’s wide-release opening of $21.1 million.

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