Hollywood can't be done with the weekend soon enough.
Neither Cloud Atlas, starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, nor new Halloween horror pic Silent Hill: Revelation 3D were able to beat holdover Argo on Friday. The two new films both grossed $3.5 million to tie for No. 2.
The news was even worse for Victoria Justice teen comedy Fun Size and Gerard Butler surfing drama Chasing Mavericks, the weekend's two other new films.
Paramount and Nickelodeon Fun Size placed No. 11 on Friday with $1.3 million, while Fox and Walden Media's Chasing Mavericks came in No. 12 with $825,000.
Box office observers don't believe Hurricane Sandy is affecting moviegoing to a dramatic degree along the Atlantic seaboard yet, but are monitoring grosses.
Ben Affleck's Argo, which continues to be a crowd pleaser, grossed $4 million to come in No. 1, where it will stay for the weekend in a victory for the filmmaker and Warner Bros.
The independently financed Cloud Atlas, which Warner Bros. is distributing, has a chance of coming in No. 2 for the weekend with a gross in the $10 million range, but a C+ CinemaScore won't be good for word of mouth. Either way, it's a sour start for the independently financed movie, which cost $100 million to make.
Revelation 3D is predicting a weekend gross in the $9.5 million range -- not that far off from what Paranormal Activity 3 is anticipating after grossing $3.1 million on Friday to come in No. 4. Paranormal 4 opened to No. 1 last weekend with a debut of $29.5 million.
In terms of risk, the $100 million Cloud Atlas has the biggest exposure by far. The dreamy epic, based on the 2004 novel by David Mitchell, was directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tywker.
Of the weekend's four new films, Revelation will be in okay shape financially. Samuel Hadida produced and financed the $20 million film, which is the third horror pic to open in a row after Sinister and Paranormal 4.
Fun Size was also budgeted modestly, costing $14 million to produce. But its box office debut is still a disappointment for the studio and television showrunner Josh Schwartz, who makes his feature directorial debut with the pic.
Chasing Mavericks, based on the real-life story of surfer Jay Moriarty, was co-financed by Fox and Walden for $20 million. Walden is coming off another box office disappointment, school drama Won't Back Down, which it fully financed.
If it comes in at No. 1, Argo would be the first film since The Blind Side to win the weekend crown in its third weekend at the box office. Argo, which has earned north of $48 million to date, placed No. 2 on the past two weekends.