The dystopian horror-thriller “The Purge” is destined to gross roughly $36.4 million domestically for its opening weekend ($16.7 million dollars from the opening night alone) and has become the surprise hit of the summer, with The Hollywood Reporter dubbing it the “Box Office Shocker.” Not only is “The Purge” in the top spot over some should-have-been-tough competition (we saw this coming), the film is also whupping said competition, making nearly over 3 times per screen as “The Internship.” This is made all the more astounding by the fact that “The Purge” was made on a $3 million microbudget, a figure that was covered in box office returns even before the actual weekend (grossed $3.4 million dollars from its Thursday 10 p.m. and Friday midnight screenings). More so, this would make “The Purge” the highest-grossing debut of a non-sequel or non-remake R-rated horror film in history (beating out the $20 million debut of “The Strangers”).
In second place with $19.8 million, “Fast & Furious 6” is in its third week and isn’t getting off of the top ten fast, which may make some indie filmmakers furious, having just passed the $200 million mark domestically. Only $300k behind ‘Fast & Furious,’ “Now You See Me” dropped down to third with $19.5 million.
In a dismal fourth place, the summer’s first original comedy “The Internship” (with its $58 million budget and Google endorsement) is at $18.1 million for its opening weekend ($6.6 million from the opening night). Although that figure is slightly more than recent industry predictions (more in the $15 million ballpark), it’s generally much less than you’d expect from the first re-teaming of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn since “Wedding Crashers” (which made over $33 million in its first weekend eight years ago, nearly double per screen of what “The Internship” did this weekend, and is still one of the best performing R-rated comedies of all time).
“Epic” is in fifth as a decent CGI-animated alternative for the kiddies until “Monsters University” opens on June 21st. “After Earth” has sunk from third to sixth in its second weekend with the biggest domestic drop, down 59% (see a pattern, Will Smith?). In seventh place, “Star Trek Into Darkness” has also passed the $200 million mark (as we predicted last weekend) and at $376.5 million overall worldwide, is pretty darn close to its predecessor’s $385 million. “The Hangover Part III” is petering down the board in its third week, from first to sixth to eighth, and has passed the $100 million mark. In ninth, “Iron Man 3” has officially made just under $1.2 billion worldwide ($394.3 million domestically), making it the fifth grossing global blockbuster of all time. In tenth, “The Great Gatsby” is still on the leader board, but there’s nothing too remarkably “great” about that.
As for specialty box office, there were some strong numbers this weekend. Joss Whedon‘s black-and-white adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s “Much Ado About Nothing,”opened at five theaters and raked in $183,400, averaging an astonishing $36,680 per screen and breaking the house record Saturday night at the Lincoln Center Film Society Theatre with a $15,027 gross. Another debut, Rick Rowley‘s “war on terror” doc “Dirty Wars” opened at four theaters and made $66,000, averaging $16,500 per screen and was sold out at each screening. In its third week, Richard Linklater‘s “Before Midnight” (with Ethan Hawke feeling both studio and indie warmth this weekend) expanded from 31 to 52 theaters and averaged $11,243 per screen. In its second weekend, Zal Batmanglij‘s “The East” expanded from 4 to 41 theaters and averaged $6,024 per screen. In its third week, “Fill the Void” expanded from 6 to 13 theaters and averaged $6,004 per screen.
1. The Purge (Universal) – $36,379,000
2. Fast & Furious 6 (Universal) – $19,800,000 ($202,300,000)
3. Now You See Me (Lionsgate) – $19,500,000 ($61,374,000)
4. The Internship (Fox) – $18,100,000
5. Epic (Fox) – $12,100,000 ($84,155,000)
6. Star Trek Into Darkness (Paramount) – $11,700,000 ($200,140,000)
7. After Earth (Sony) – $11,200,000 ($46,592,000)
8. The Hangover Part III (Warner Bros.) – $7,380,000 ($102,374,000)
9. Iron Man 3 (Disney) – $5,787,000 ($394,316,000)
10. The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros.) – $4,230,000 ($136,175,000)