A superb $42m debut saw Paranormal Activity 2 soar to the top of the charts as Jackass 3-D secured second place to set up a one-two finish for Paramount.

The horror sequel delivered on the promise established by the extraordinary box office antics last year of Paranormal Activity and kept the winning formula intact with a verite-style haunted house tale that drew large crowds.

Jackass 3-D added $21.6m for $87.1m and has already grossed more than the other episodes in the series. Warner Bros expanded Clint Eastwood’s supernatural drama Hereafter starring Eastwood’s Invictus leading man Matt Damon and enjoyed third place and a $12.3m running total after two weekends.

There were no other top ten debutants. Sony’s The Social Network is chasing down the $100m mark although it may take it a little longer to achieve than awards watchers had at first hoped. After four weekends it ranks fifth on $72.9m.

Warner Bros’ heist thriller The Town in ninth place has grossed $84.7m after six and Screen Gems’ high school rom-com Easy A holds up the top ten on $54.8m after six.

Next weekend’s wide release is Saw 3D, the final episode in Lionsgate’s long running hit horror franchise.

Estimated Top 10 North America Oct 22-24, 2010

Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) Paranormal Activity 2 (Paramount) PPI $41.5m –

2 (1) Jackass 3-D (Paramount) PPI $21.6m $87.1m

3 (2) Red (Summit) Summit Int’l $15m $43.5m

4 (28) Hereafter (Warner Bros) WBPI $12m $12.3m

5 (3) The Social Network(Sony) SPRI $7.3m $72.9m

6 (4) Secretariat (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $6.9m $37.4m

7 (5) Life As We Know It (Warner Bros) WBPI $6.2m $37.6m

8 (6) Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole (Warner Bros) WBPI $3.2m $50.2m

9 (7) The Town (Warner Bros) WBPI $2.7m $84.7m

10 (9) Easy A (Screen Gems) SPRI $1.8m $54.8m