Michael Jackson’s This Is It, the tribute film featuring rehearsal footage from the late entertainer as he prepared for a farewell UK residency at London’s 02 Arena, secured the number one spot with an estimated $21.3m through Sony.

The debut was lower than expected, however the result combined with the $68.5m international launch for a $101m global opening. Sony’s worldwide marketing and distribution chief Jeff Blake said on Sunday [November 1] the studio would extend the release beyond the two-week run originally announced.

Paramount’s Paranormal Activity looks a good bet to cross $100m now as the ultra low-budget horror film continued its extraordinary run.

Despite dropping to second place the film grossed a further $16.5m after it expanded into 2,404 theatres and currently stands at $84.8m after six weekends in release.

Elsewhere most of the same releases stayed in the top ten from last weekend. Overture’s crime thriller Law Abiding Citizen climbed one place to number three in its third weekend on $7.3m for $51.4m and Universal’s comedy Couples Retreat in fourth place stands at $86.7m after four.

Lionsgate’s Saw VI took the biggest hit, tumbling 60.6% and three places to number five on $5.6m for $22.8m in its second weekend. Fox Searchlight’s biopic Amelia gained two places to rank number nine on $8.3m after two weekends.

Apparition launched action sequel The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day in 16th place on $462,000 for a per-theatre average of $6,794 from 58. “It’s become one of those viral movies where we’re getting ‘demand’ emails from audiences,” Appartition’s Bob Berney said, adding that the film would expand by 100 prints next weekend and enter more markets on November 13.

Next weekend’s wide releases are Disney’s A Christmas Carol featuring Jim Carrey; Overture’s dark comedy The Men Who Stare At Goats with George Clooney, Jeff Bridges and Ewan McGregor; Universal’s horror film The Fourth Kind starring Milla Jovovich; and Warner Bros/Media Rights Capital’s horror thriller The Box with Cameron Diaz and James Marsden. Lionsgate will launch Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire in limited release.

Estimated Top 10 North America October 30-November 1 2009
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) This Is It (Sony) SPRI $21.3m $32.5m

2 (1) Paranormal Activity (Paramount) IM Global $16.5m $84.4m

3 (4) Law Abiding Citizen ( Overture) The Film Dept $7.3m $51.4m

4 (5) Couples Retreat (Universal) UPI $6.1m $86.7m

5 (2) Saw VI (Lionsgate) Mandate Int’l $5.6m $22.8m

6 (3) Where The Wild Things Are (Warner Bros) WBPI $5.1m $61.8m

7 (8) The Stepfather (Sony) SPRI $3.4m $24.7m

8 (6) Astro Boy (Summit) Summit Int’l $3m $10.9m

9 (11) Amelia (Fox Searchlight) Fox Int’l $3m $8.3m

10 (7) Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (Universal) UPI $2.8m $10.5m