While I didn’t exactly enjoy The Purge (review), I am always happy to find out that a horror film has been successful, and The Purge has had a mighty first weekend at the US box office. Once again, horror has made its way to the top of the US box office.
Made for just $3 million, The Purge was part of a deal between Universal and master of low budget horror, Blumhouse Productions. Blumhouse have already delivered some of the most successful low budget horrors of recent memory. Their most profitable horror film to date is still Paranormal Activity, released in 2009 on a budget of just $15,000, the found footage sensation went on to globally achieve $193 million. Then Insidious, made for just $1.5 million, went and took $97 million worldwide, and last years Sinister took a massive $77 million worldwide, on a budget of $3 million.
The Purge was also made for $3 million, and so far in the US has taken a staggering $36.3 million on its opening weekend. This puts the horror firmly in top place, finally knocking Fast and Furious 6 off the top spot, and destroying the competition. The other big new release this weekend was the Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson starring comedy, The Internship, which took only half of what The Purge made ($18.1 million).
This really is great news for horror, and with films like Evil Dead, Mama and Texas Chainsaw 3D already topping the charts this year, The Purge is another welcome addition to that list. A smart marketing campaign, and a brave decision to release the film outside of the usual horror slot of January or September, have given Universal a big hit, and pretty much guarantees a sequel (which has already been reported).
The Purge has also broken the record for the highest grossing R-rated horror opening ever, which was previously held by last years The Devil Inside ($33.7 million), and is on track to be one of the highest grossing horrors of 2013. It opened here in the UK and in Poland last week, grossing £3.5 million, but in the US the film is expected to finish on somewhere between $70-75 million.
Horrors are always quick to burn out at the cinema, so The Purge, like many before it, will see a huge drop off in sales next week. However, last years highest grossing horror was Paranormal Activity 4, which achieved $53.9 million in the US. Two films this year have already topped that, Mama and Evil Dead, and The Purge is guaranteed to do the same. This makes 2013 one of the best years for horror so far, and with James Wan’s The Conjuring hitting right in the middle of Summer on July 19th in the US, and August 2nd here in the UK, and also Insidious: Chapter Two arriving on September 13th, 2013 is going to be a belter of a year for horror!
Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change
- The Purge (1): $36.4; 2,536; $14,345; $36.4; –
- Fast and Furious 6 (3): $19.8; 3,771; $5,240; $202.9; -44%
- Now You See Me (2): $19.5; 3,020; $6,457; $61.4; -34%
- The Internship (1): $18.1; 3,366; $$5,377; $18.1; –
- Epic (3): $12.1; 3,594; $3,367; $84.2; -27%
- Star Trek Into Darkness (4): $11.7; 3,152; $3,712; $200.1; -30%
- After Earth (2): $11.2; 3,401; $3,293; $46.6; -59%
- The Hangover Part III (3): $7.4; 3,242; $2,276; $102.4; -55%
- Iron Man 3 (6): $5.8; 2,351; $2,461; $394.3; -32%
- The Great Gatsby (5): $4.2; 2,160; $1,958; $136.2; -35%