The Purge Kicks Fast 6 from Top
For the second week in a row, domestic audiences came out in better-than-expected numbers for an original film with no built-in audience as the thriller The Purge debuted at number one without A-list stars. The top five contained only one sequel — amazing for a summer weekend — with moviegoers spreading their dollars around as seven films grossed over $10M each last weekend.
Universal’s The Purge starring Ethan Hawke soared to a $34.1M opening weekend, more than 10 times its production budget. Produced for just $3M, the R-rated story tells of a time in the near future when American society has nearly eradicated all crime, but allows one day a year when anything goes with no criminal consequences. But Purge’s success was more a result of fantastic marketing than quality filmmaking. The studio’s slick trailer, aggressive promotional push and social media hype registered with young adults who drove opening day sales to a stellar $16.8M including $3.4M from Thursday night shows. But sales collapsed the second day of release as Saturday tumbled 38 percent to $10.5M and a 35 percent decline on Sunday to $6.8M.
Dropping to second place after two weeks at the top was the action sequel Fast & Furious 6 with $19.6M. Look for it to break franchise records for domestic, international and global grosses by next weekend on its way to a final worldwide haul north of $800M after July releases in China and Japan. Part 7 is slated for release next summer on July 11.
The surprise hit Now You See Me held up very well in its second weekend with $19M. The Lionsgate release is now on course to reach $100M or more domestically making for another original film with no built-in audience that is attracting large crowds against the mega-budgeted summer sequels.
Opening in fourth place with only moderate results was the Vince Vaughn-Owen Wilson comedy The Internship with $17.3M. It was the latest in a recent string of mainstream comedy releases from each actor that failed to draw big crowds like their earlier hits had. The Fox release about two middle-aged men who compete with college-age whiz kids for jobs at Google played evenly between men and women and skewed older with 61 percent of the crowd being over 25.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|2||1||Fast & Furious 6||$19.6M||$202.8M||3|
|3||2||Now You See Me||$19.0M||$60.9M||2|
|6||4||Star Trek Into Darkness||$11.4||$199.9M||4|
|8||6||The Hangover Part III||$7.3M||$102.3M||3|
|9||7||Iron Man 3||$5.8M||$394.3M||6|
|10||8||The Great Gatsby||$4.2M||$136.2M||5|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.