'The Purge' shocks with $36.4 million opening - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

'The Purge' shocks with $36.4 million opening

Posted: Updated:

JAKE COYLE, AP Entertainment Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The suspense thriller "The Purge" topped the weekend box office with a shocking $36.4 million that doubled industry expectations, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Audiences starved for a horror option flocked to the micro-budget Universal film starring Ethan Hawke. The film's strong opening performance minted another box-office hit for "Paranormal Activity" producer Jason Blum.

Like that horror franchise, "The Purge" was made for relative peanuts — just $3 million — making it an extremely lucrative release for Universal. The studio had expected it to open in the high teens.

"Never did we expect it to open at this level," said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal. "This result could not have been forecasted by anybody."

There has been a dearth of horror films at the multiplex in recent weeks, which Rocco acknowledged was a major factor for "The Purge." Written and directed by James DeMonaco, "The Purge" is set in a utopic United States in the year 2022, where crime has been eradicated except for one violently cathartic day a year when nearly all mayhem is legal.

The film opened strong with late night screenings Thursday night that alone took in $3.4 million.

"This is exactly the kind of film that stumps all the analysts," said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. "It proves that R-rated horror films, no matter the budget, always have a place with audiences."

Universal also claimed the second spot at the box office, as the Vin Diesel action flick "Fast & Furious 6" earned $19.8 million in its third week of release. The sixth installment of the street racing series has now earned a total of $202.3 million domestically and $381.7 million internationally.

The Google-promoting comedy "The Internship" opened with $18.1 million, a decent debut for the Fox comedy that reteams "Wedding Crashers" stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.

But that was good enough only for fourth place behind two hold-overs: "Fast & Furious 6" and Lionsgate's "Now You See Me." The illusionist heist film held strong, earning $19.5 million over the weekend, bringing its cumulative haul to $61.4 million.

After Will Smith's sci-fi adventure "After Earth" bombed in its domestic opening last weekend, coming in third with $27.5 million for Sony, the film found a warmer reception overseas this weekend. It took in $45.5 million internationally after opening in some 60 overseas markets. Domestically, it continued to fare poorly, adding $11.2 million in its second week.

Even with the unexpected success of "The Purge," the box office was still down from last year, when "Madagascar 3" and "Prometheus" both opened. But Superman comes to the rescue next weekend with the debut of Zac Snyder's highly anticipated "Man of Steel" for Warner Bros. Dergarabedian expects the film to open above $100 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.

1. "The Purge," $36.4 million.

2. "Fast & Furious 6," $19.8 million ($45.3 million international).

3. "Now You See Me," $19.5 million ($2 million international).

4. "The Internship," $18.1 million.

5. "Epic," $12.1 million ($12.7 million international).

6. "Star Trek Into Darkness," $11.7 million ($17.6 million international).

7. "After Earth," $11.2 million ($45.5 million international).

8. "The Hangover Part III," $7.4 million ($34.8 million international).

9. "Iron Man 3," $5.8 million ($3.9 million international).

10. "The Great Gatsby," $4.2 million ($13.3 million international).

___

Estimated weekend ticket sales at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:

1. "After Earth," $45.5 million.

2. "Fast & Furious 6," $45.3 million.

3. "The Hangover Part III," $34.8 million.

4. "Secretly Greatly," $19 million.

5. "Star Trek Into Darkness," $17.6 million.

6. "The Great Gatsby," $13.3 million.

7. "Epic," $12.7 million.

8. "Iron Man 3," $3.9 million.

9. "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," $2.7 million.

10. "Oblivion," $2.1 million.

  • EntertainmentMore>>

  • Iggy Azalea has a cameo in Fast & Furious 7

    Iggy Azalea has a cameo in Fast & Furious 7

    Iggy Azalea will make a cameo in the upcoming Fast & Furious 7, according to star Vin Diesel.
    Iggy Azalea will make a cameo in the upcoming Fast & Furious 7, according to star Vin Diesel.
  • The many cameos of 'Sharknado 2' made it (almost) watchable

    The many cameos of 'Sharknado 2' made it (almost) watchable

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:53 PM EDT2014-08-01 02:53:33 GMT
    When Jared from subway agrees to join Andy Dick, Billy Ray Cyrus and seemingly every other B-, C-, and D-list celebrity on the planet in one made-for-TV movie that all parties involved concede as terrible, evidently people tune in. Syfy reaps profits, and the second movie in the last year about a tornado of sharks makes film history.
    When Jared from subway agrees to join Andy Dick, Billy Ray Cyrus and seemingly every other B-, C-, and D-list celebrity on the planet in one made-for-TV movie that all parties involved concede as terrible, evidently people tune in. Syfy reaps profits, and the second movie in the last year about a tornado of sharks makes film history.
  • Chrissy Teigen has it all except for this one thing

    Chrissy Teigen has it all except for this one thing

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-08-01 02:37:13 GMT
    Sports Illustrated cover model Chrissy Teigen is primarily known for her exotic beauty. But there's also all those unfiltered social media posts and interview antics, like the time she shoved her hands in my face and asked me to smell them. To her credit we got on the subject of cooking, one of her favorite things to do. She was describing a dish she made earlier in the day and offered her garlic scented fingers as proof.
    Sports Illustrated cover model Chrissy Teigen is primarily known for her exotic beauty. But there's also all those unfiltered social media posts and interview antics, like the time she shoved her hands in my face and asked me to smell them. To her credit we got on the subject of cooking, one of her favorite things to do. She was describing a dish she made earlier in the day and offered her garlic scented fingers as proof.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices