"Where the Wild Things Are" was followed by Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler's vengeance thriller "Law Abiding Citizen," which debuted with $21.3 million.
Expanding into wider release, the low-budget horror sensation "Paranormal Activity" moved up to No. 3 with $20.2 million.
"Paranormal Activity" outdid the premiere of the big studio fright flick "The Stepfather," which played in nearly four times as many theaters but managed just a No. 5 opening with $12.3 million.