Low-budget sensation Paranormal Activity bested the competition -- including the latest Saw horror film -- to claim North America's pre-Halloween box office, final figures showed on Monday.
Paranormal, made for a paltry 11,000 dollars, has raked in 61.6 million, including 21.1 million this weekend, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
The film, whose ingenious online marketing and use of web buzz has rivaled that of 1999 indie The Blair Witch Project, bested the newest Saw film, which is part of an established horror juggernaut that has grossed more than 680 million dollars worldwide since 2004.
Saw VI debuted at number two this weekend, with 14.1 million dollars.
Close behind in third place was Where the Wild Things Are director Spike Jonze's live action rendering of the beloved children's book, which opened at number one the previous week.
The Warner Bros-backed screen adaptation of Maurice Sendak's 1963 picture book about a rebellious boy who sails away to an island populated by giant toothy monsters earned 14.4 million dollars for a total two-week total of 53.6 million.
Law Abiding Citizen, a thriller about a man bent on avenging the deaths of his slain family, slipped two spots to fourth, earning 12.4 million dollars, with 40 million grossed in two weeks.
Former number one Couples Retreat starring comic favorites Vince Vaughn and Jason Bateman came in at fifth in its third week, scoring 10.6 million dollars -- 77.7 million in three weeks' showings.
Debuting in sixth spot was Astro Boy, a 3-D animated feature film about the futuristic robot who first came to life in the 1950s as a character in the beloved Japanese science fiction manga series of the same name. The film earned 6.7 million dollars.
The latest teen vampire vehicle, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, based on a popular young adult book franchise, entered the fray at number seven, earning 6.3 million dollars.
Horror flick The Stepfather, the remake of a 1987 thriller, earned 6.2 million dollars in eighth spot.
Trailing in ninth and tenth place were Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the animated tale of an island rained on by junk food, earning 5.3 million dollars, and tongue-in-cheek comedy Zombieland, with 4.2 million dollars.Low-budget thriller Paranormal tops weekend box office