Low-budget horror thriller 'The Purge' packs them in
Costing $3 million, Ethan Hawke films rakes in $36.4 million at box office
Movie audiences crave films with solid stories, interesting premises and a few well-placed shocks. Made for $3 million, "The Purge" starring Ethan Hawkes raked in $36.4 million at the nation's box office this past weekend. Lack of computer generated imagery or big names didn't prevent people from lining up for this most unusual thriller.
"The Purge's" success chalked up another victory for Jason Blum, whose likewise very low-budget "Paranormal Activity" franchise also plays to sold-out audiences.
"Never did we expect it to open at this level," Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal says. "This result could not have been forecasted by anybody."
A lack of scary movies at multiplexes was a major factor for "The Purge." Written and directed by James DeMonaco, "The Purge" is set in a slightly dystopic 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 Purge's late night screenings Thursday night alone took in $3.4 million.
"This is exactly the kind of film that stumps all the analysts," Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com says. "It proves that R-rated horror films, no matter the budget, always have a place with audiences."
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 at third, with $18.1 million, a decent debut.
Lionsgate's "Now You See Me" held strong, earning $19.5 million over the weekend, bringing its cumulative haul to $61.4 million.
On the other end of the spectrum: Will Smith's sci-fi adventure "After Earth" flopped in its domestic opening last weekend. Domestically, it continued to fare poorly, adding only $11.2 million in its second week.
The Top Ten at this past weekend's box office went like this -
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).
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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