After lamenting two weekends ago about “One Direction: This Is Us” taking the top spot during a weekend normally prime for horror films, we’re biting our tongues as “Insidious: Chapter 2” managed to make a whopping $41.1 million this past weekend, making it the second largest September opening ever (after “Hotel Transylvania” with $42.5 million) and the second largest horror opening of the year (after “The Conjuring” with $41.9 million). Re-teaming director James Wan and actors Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, “Insidious: Chapter 2” raked in more than triple in its opening weekend than its predecessor “Insidious,” which made $13.3 million for its opening weekend.This is horror director James Wan’s second highest opening of his career (after “The Conjuring”). At $41.1 million, the film not only have made back its $5 million budget eightfold and only needs another $13 million to overcome the entire domestic gross of “Insidious” ($54 million). With ‘Chapter 2’ already the third highest grossing FilmDistrict title (after “Olympus Has Fallen” and “Insidious“) and proving a very strong low-budget formula, get ready for “Insidious: Chapter 3” in the spring of 2015.
Coming in at a disappointing second place, the mob family under witness protection action-comedy “The Family” made $14.5 million. Even the film’s stellar lineup couldn’t withstand the Friday the 13th horror crowd. Directed and written by Luc Besson, starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones, with Martin Scorsese tagging on a producer credit, it seems no one was lured by those names. Even so, this does mark Besson’s second best opening ever (after “The Fifth Element” and without considering inflation) and the sixth best from Relativity Media (right after “Mirror Mirror“). Guess we should just chalk this up to a $30 million star-studded swing-and-a-miss.
Rounding out in third, “Riddick” suffered the highest percentage drop since last weekend and made $7 million. Crossing the domestic $100 million line (the 5th Weinstein Company film to do so), “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” dished up $5.6 million. “We’re The Millers” came in at a fighting fifth with $5.4 million. Continuing to be included in the top ten at sixth, “Instructions Not Included” made $4.3 million and crossed the domestic $25 million mark. Down two spots to seventh, “Planes” manages to fly steadily with a little over $3 million. In eighth, “One Direction: This Is Us” made $2.4 million and crossed the domestic $25 million mark, still marking the highest grossing film of Morgan Spurlock‘s career. Down low in ninth, “Elysium” brought in $2.1 million for the weekend and still after six weeks has not yet made back its $115 million budget domestically. Barely keeping its head above water, “Percy: Sea of Monsters” came in at tenth and $1.8 million, suffering the least percentage drop amongst the top ten holdovers this weekend.
As for specialty box office, Andrew Dosunmu‘s “Mother of George” took the top spot in terms of per-theater-average, indie or otherwise. The drama about a Nigerian couple in Brooklyn opened in one theater (New York’s Angelika Film Center) and made $22,456. Another Sundance pick, Alexandre Moors‘ “Blue Caprice” starring Isaiah Washington also opened in one theater and made $15,200. In third, yet another one screen debut, Jeremy Seifert‘s documentary about genetically altered food “GMO OMG” opened at New York’s Cinema Village and made $15,121. In fourth, Jim Bruce‘s “Money For Nothing: Inside The Federal Reserve” starring Liev Schreiber expanded to two theaters and made $13,720, averaging $4,573 per theater. In fifth, Haifaa Al-Mansour‘s “Wadjda,” the first feature-length film directed by a female Saudi Arabian, opened in the U.S. in three theaters and made $40,491, averaging $13,497 per theater. In other indie box office news, Lake Bell‘s “In A World” crossed the $2 million mark with a running total of $2.1 million and Jerusha Hess‘ “Austenland” crossed the $1 million mark with a running total of $1.2 million.
1. Insidious: Chapter 2 (FilmDistrict) – $41,050,000
2. The Family (Relativity Media) – $14,500,000
3. Riddick (Universal) – $7,013,000 ($31,280,000)
4. Lee Daniels’ The Butler (The Weinstein Company) – $5,582,000 ($100,041,000)
5. We’re The Millers (Warner Bros.) – $5,415,000 ($131,602,000)
6. Instructions Not Included (LionsGate) – $4,250,000 ($26,581,000)
7. Planes (Buena Vista) – $3,066,000 ($82,984,000)
8. One Direction: This Is Us (TriStar) – $2,400,000 ($26,887,000)
9. Elysium (TriStar) – $2,050,000 ($88,388,000)
10. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Fox) – $1,825,000 ($62,035,000)