Prisoners Captures Number One Spot at Box Office with $21.4 Million

Prisoners Captures Number One Spot at Box Office with $21.4 Million The new adult drama Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman captured the number one spot at the North American box office this weekend. The critically-acclaimed feature displaced last week’s number one film Insidious: Chapter 2, which dropped down to second place. The dance film Battle of the Year stumbled into fifth place in its opening. The top ten was down 16% from last weekend but remained even with the top ten one year ago at this time.

Following its well-received premieres at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals, Warner Bros. launched Prisoners on 3,260 screens this weekend to earn a solid $21.4 million. Reviews have been solid for the Denis Villeneuve-directed drama (79% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes) that deals with the abduction of two young girls and the extremes a parent would go through to get them back. The R-rated drama stars Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis and Melissa Leo. Given the subject matter, 2 1/2-hour running time and R rating, the $21.4 million opening is a solid one. With ticket buyers giving the movie an “A” CinemaScore rating, long-term prospects are looking good for Prisoners throughout the first half of the fall movie season.

Horror films always tend to have openings that are front loaded, so it’s not surprising that Insidious: Chapter 2 dropped by 64% in its second weekend of release on 3,155 screens. That said, the James Wan-directed feature earned a good $14.5 million to bring its ten-day total to a solid $60.5 million and should scare up roughly $85-90 million by the end of its run.

Another opener from last weekend, Relativity’s The Family, lost half of its opening weekend audience in its sophomore session to land in third place. The Robert De Niro crime comedy earned an estimated $7 million on 3,091 screens to bring its ten-day total to $25.6 million. The movie should finish its domestic run with approximately $35-40 million.

Showing some solid legs in fourth is the Lionsgate comedy Instructions Not Included. Still playing on less than a thousand screens (978, to be exact) the foreign-language hit actually increased its grosses by 17% to earn an estimated $5.7 million. After four weeks, Instruction’s total now stands at $34.2 million. At the very least, the sleeper hit is looking at a final payday near the $50 million mark.

The youth dance competition film Battle of the Year displayed two left feet in its debut this weekend. The feature, which stars Chris Brown, could only muster $5 million on 2,008 screens. Critics tore it a new one while ticket buyers gave it an “A” CinemaScore rating.

Also debuting in the top ten was the 75th Anniversary 3D IMAX release of the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. Ahead of its Blu-ray reissue on October 1, the MGM classic landed in 318 theaters for a one-week run and the numbers were very impressive. Landing in ninth place, Dorothy and her pals earned a great $3 million for a per-screen average of $9,503 (the highest in the top ten).

The remainder of the top ten:

6. We’re the Millers (Warner Brothers) $4.6 million (-14%); $138.1 million

7. Lee Daniels’ The Butler (Weinstein) $4.3 million (-22%); $106.4 million

8. Riddick (Universal) $3.6 million (-46%); $37.1 million

10. Planes (Disney) $2.8 million (-8%); $86.5 million

Next weekend sees the debuts of Rush, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, Baggage Claim, Don Jon and the IMAX documentary Metallica Through the Never, all of which aim to top Prisoners and make a run for number one.

– Shawn Fitzgerald

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