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Weekend B.O. June 7-9 (Where Did That Come From?)

Box Office
by Sergio
June 9, 2013 12:26 PM
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The Purge

"That," being the Ethan Hawke film The Purge.  The low budget /horror/suspense thriller, that no one was paying attention to, shot to the top of this weekend's Box office list, with an amazing $36.4 million.

Even more impressive was that the film was made for a bargain basement $3 million, which means the film made more than 10 and a half times its production cost in less than three days. 

And just what was it about the film that made people rush out to see it? It was just another variation of the home invasion terror film that's been done hundreds of times before such as, recently, The Strangers which was basically a remake of the French thriller, Them. But what was it about The Purge that clicked with filmgoers?

People are flummoxed, including myself.  Do you have any answers?

The two hour Google ad, also called The Internship, starring those two how-in-the-hell-did-these-guys-become-movie-stars movie stars, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, not surprisingly, had a lackluster opening, with $18 million.

Meanwhile, After Earth took a big hit and dropped nearly 60% , indicating that it’s pretty much over for the film.

1) The Purge Uni. $36,379,000 
2) Fast & Furious 6 Uni. $19,760,000 Total: $202,946,000 
3) Now You See Me LG/S $19,500,000 otal: $61,374,000 
4) The Internship Fox $18,100,000 
5) Epic Fox $12,100,000 Total: $84,155,000 
6) Star Trek Into Darkness Par. $11,700,000 Total: $200,140,000 
7) After Earth Sony $11,200,000 Total: $46,592,000 
8) The Hangover Part III WB $7,380,000 Total: $102,374,000 
9) Iron Man 3 BV $5,787,000 Total: $394,316,000 
10) The Great Gatsby  WB $4,230,000 Total: $136,175,000  
11)  Mud RAtt. $1,209,000 Total: $18,600,000 
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  • Lance | June 10, 2013 11:37 AMReply

    Great premise + well placed TV advertising + YouTube Ads. That is how I believe they got it done. The premise of the movie stirs up something different in everyone, which makes it very compelling.

  • Nikki | June 10, 2013 9:13 AMReply

    It's a horror/thriller movie. When was the last horror movie released in April? People like being scared. Plus the trailers looked good.

  • Teofilo Colon Jr. | June 10, 2013 4:40 AMReply


    Don't forget that 'The Purge' had an Twilight Zone-esque intriguing premise/subtext, that is, "What if crime was legal for (insert period of time here)?" That certainly helped differentiate it from a standard home invasion terror film. Shoot, I know it sure intrigued ME. It sure is surprising to read that you folks at Shadow and Act are overlooking that basic aspect of this film, 'The Purge'.

    I haven't seen the film, and don't plan to. I hear that despite it's intriguing premise, that utimately the film itself isn't very good.

    Teofilo Colon Jr.

  • other song | June 10, 2013 12:17 PM

    I agree. The "crime is legal for 24 hours" thing was intriguing. I wouldn't see the movie myself because I don't care for horror films, and I know the basic premise of how crime would be legal for 24 hours would be explained in a dumb f*cking way, or even worse, not explained. I'm not about to shill out money for a movie that wont live up to its basic premise

  • August Wasoba | June 10, 2013 12:43 AMReply

    lol They winning and don't be surprised if a sequel gets greenlit soon.

  • JMS | June 10, 2013 12:24 AMReply

    There's doubt that The Purge actually did the numbers reported. People have said the After Earth theaters were full and The Purge were empty but yet this is what's reported.

    We all know what's happening, right? Open Your Third Eye

  • Jon | June 10, 2013 12:09 PM

    I work in an AMC theater box office. I sold a ton of The Purge tickets and almost none to AE.

  • Donella | June 9, 2013 10:33 PMReply

    After Earth opened #1 in the UK, France, Russia, and The Philippines and earned $45-48 million overseas.

  • Donella | June 9, 2013 10:07 PMReply

    Horror is universal and understood by every culture.

  • D.A. | June 9, 2013 8:53 PMReply

    I was reading an (I believe) an NPR piece about the film where the production company behind it uses the current political/social climate as a means to point out race and class warfare. As you point out it is nothing more than a low budget thriller/slasher film, but the creator decides to add in a surprisingly complex element.

  • Ghost | June 9, 2013 6:46 PMReply

    How did it make number one? Could it be that the trailers were edited? That one major plot hole is missing from the recent trailers unlike the original ones?
    It might explain why you only saw it listed at 2500 screens. Since it does reference something that is happening in real life and tomorrow in Florida.
    In the original trailers you saw why those folks went to the house-they were chasing after Edwin Hodge-who is black.
    Now look at what is happening tomorrow in Florida-Trayvon Martin court case. Now who would want to see a movie with trailers that feature white folks chasing after a black guy? And that media nightmare that we have seen about Martin over the past 2 weeks.
    Good thing it made back it's budget in one weekend-because once that plot get really out-expect a drop-despite the black guy's fate in the film.

  • nadia | June 9, 2013 5:18 PMReply

    Meanwhile Geoffrey Fletcher's movie straight bombed. $10000 on 17 screens for $600 average per screen. I mean damn.

  • NO BRAINER | June 9, 2013 4:34 PMReply

    Not surprised at all. In fact, I wanted to see it myself.

  • ALM | June 9, 2013 3:53 PMReply

    According to Yahoo! movies, it's playing on just over 2500 screens.

    The interesting thing is, I didn't even know that "The Purge" was out this weekend. I have barely seen commercials for the film. I must not be a part of the film's target audience, because a lot of people obviously got the message that the movie was being released this weekend.

    The main knowledge that I have of the movie's existence is from this website.

  • Solaam | June 9, 2013 3:28 PMReply

    The Purge was a basic home invasion, Panic Room-like thriller wrapped in an intriguing, unique concept. This is a perfect example of a great trailer really helping a film into achieving a great 1st week box office haul.
    Next week, I expect this one to drop like a rock after the word of mouth. The only thing that may help it is the "number #1 film of the week" commercials that will get some ppl to see what the fuss is about.

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