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Weekend Box Office: The Purge Wipes Out Competition

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By Chris Kavan - 06/09/13 at 08:43 PM CT

Things were horrific at the box office - not for the box office itself, just that the top movie was a horror movie for the first time since Evil Dead in April. It turns out that the might of Google is not enough to power the film industry as Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson's reunion couldn't help The Internship make much of a mark at the box office. Meanwhile, two popular films managed to cross the $200 million mark.


Warner Brothers has made out like bandits thanks Blumhouse Productions - who have made a career out of turning low-budget horror into eye-popping hits. It all started with Paranormal Activity ($15,000 budget - $193 million total gross) and continued with Insidious ($1.5 million budget, $97 million worldwide) and Sinister ($3 million budget, $77 million total). The Purge, which opened in first with $36.37 million, had a likewise $3 million budget. Thanks to a good marketing effort, which focused on the 12-hour "all crimes allowed" aspect - not to mention Ethan Hawke (who was also in Sinister) and Game of Thrones Lena Headley - the movie should be a big money-maker.

Like many horror movies, the film was front-loaded (46% of grosses came on Friday) and audiences gave it just a "C" cinemascore - which means it should fall hard next week - but should ultimately close above the $70 million mark. The film topped The Devil Inside ($33.7 million) as the highest-grossing original R-rated horror film on record. Surprisingly for a horror, the audience skewed more female (56%) and unsurprisingly it was mostly younger (56% under 25). It just goes to show with an interesting premise and a excellent timing in the counter-programming department, horror can always surprise at the box office.


After two weeks on the top the over-the-top action flick dropped to second, but its $19.76 million helped it pass the $200 million mark with a $202.9 million total. It took just a 44% drop and by next weekend, it will have no problem topping Fast Five ($209.8 million) as the highest-grossing film in the franchise. Even with Man of Steel coming, the sixth entry is still looking to top the $250 million mark.


After an exceptionally strong opening, the magic-based crime thriller with the all-star cast had a strong second weekend, dropping just 33.6%. It added another $19.5 million to the bank, and now has a total of $61.37 million. It will soon pass its $75 million budget and a $100 million total is not out of the question.


Turns out being a fish-out-of-water at a tech company is not match for crashing weddings. Although Vaughn and Wilson can still bring in the laughs, the $18.1 million of Internship couldn't compete with Wedding Crashers $33.9 million opening back in 2005. Though the film did open higher than individual efforts The Watch ($12.1 million) and Hall Pass ($13.5 million) - the film faced withering criticism and it's total is actually on the high end of revised predictions. Audiences were more receptive, giving it a B+ cinemascore. It was driven by an older audience (61% over 25). Don't expect it to stick around too long as This is the End should take away much of its meager audience this coming weekend.


The animated film had the best hold of any film in the top 10, dropping just 27.2% after three weeks. With $12.1 million extra taken in, the film raised its total to $84.1 million. The film still has a shot at breaking the $100 million mark before Monsters University crashes the party on the 21st. It's going to be close, however, and at a $100 million budget, it will be lucky to break even.

Outside the top 10:

Star Trek Into Darkness (6th place, $11.7 million) also joined the $200 million club in its fourth week out, topping out at $200.1 million for the weekend. The film is still behind the original Star Trek film, and will probably not be able to catch up to that movie's $257.7 million total, though worldwide it is doing much better.

In 8th place, The Hangover Part III took in $7.38 million, which helped it cross the $100 million mark, winding up with $102.3 million. It's not going to come anywhere close to the previous two films, even with global totals taken into account.

The week's biggest drop came courtesy of After Earth, which tumbled 59.3% (a 3rd to 7th place drop) and took in $11.2 million. The film has earned $46.5 million so far and is expected to fall short of $70 million total.

Next week brings us the return of Superman - hopefully better than Superman Returns - when Man of Steel hits. The first apocalyptic comedy This is the End (featuring an all-star lineup of comedic talent) will try to bring in the laughs - and hopefully some money.


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