Director James Wan’s inexpensive sequel Insidious: Chapter 2 became his third straight horror hit at the North American box office, despite a spat of mediocre to poor reviews that came out earlier in the week. The other box office newcomer this weekend, the r-Rated comedy The Family, enjoyed a decent opening day as well, while last week’s champ Riddick slid hard into third place on its eighth day of release.
FilmDistrict knew it had another hit on their hands with Insidious: Chapter 2 thanks to a miniscule $5 million budget and pent up demand, but I highly doubt they thought the box office record books would be tested by the horror sequel during historically one of the sluggish months of the year. Insidious: Chapter 2 opened at 3,049 locations and earned a hair over $20 million through its first 24 hours of release including $1.5 million from Thursday midnight showings. That puts it on a record pace to top $40 million through Sunday and easily become the highest horror opening ever for the month. It even has a chance to become the biggest September opener of all-time of any film if the three-day total can surpass $42.5 million put up by Sony Animation’s Hotel Transylvania.
With Insidious, The Conjuring and now Insidious: Chapter 2, James Wan is on a roll and will likely continue his winning streak with Fast & Furious 7 that just began shooting last week.
Luc Besson’s R-rated mob family comedy The Family starring Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones and Dianna Agron finished with $5.4 million on Friday. It should wrap the weekend somewhere in the neighborhood of $13 to $15 million, about half of the estimated $30 million production budget.
Vin Diesel in Riddick fell to third with $2.2 million on Friday, a steep 69 percent drop from its opening a day a week ago. The third film in the franchise has now earned $26.5 million domestically and $33.9 million worldwide. With as steep as a drop as it took, Riddick is poised to fade fast and gear up for its Blu-ray and DVD debut later this year.
We’re the Millers continues to hang around the top five and finished in fourth on Friday with $1.73 million. Its total gross earnings now stands at $127.9 million with $140 million a possibility before the film’s theatrical run ends. Even if not an additional penny was earned, the film has been a huge comedy hit for Warner Bros.
Wrapping the top five is Lee Daniels’ The Butler with $1.66 million. At $96.1 million thus far, it will slowly crawl over $100 million by close of business on Sunday.
Be sure to check back tomorrow afternoon to see if Insidious: Chapter 2 was able to break the September all-time record or whether it will suffer the big second day drop off that horror films are prone to. The definitive answer will be a close call down the stretch and may require Monday’s finalized weekend box office totals to determine.