'Insidious' sequel tops box-office over weekend

'Insidious' sequel scared up box-office success over the weekend debuting in first place with $41 million, more than tripling the opening take of the 2010 original.

Matt Kennedy/FilmDistrict/AP
Danielle Bisutti in a scene from 'Insidious: Chapter 2.'

Moviegoers had an appetite for fright this weekend, sending "Insidious: Chapter 2" to the top of the box office.

The haunted-house horror sequel debuted in first place with $41 million, more than tripling the opening take of the 2010 original.

Debuting on Friday the 13th, FilmDistrict's "Insidious: Chapter 2" scored the highest September opening day ever, said box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com.

"It was a perfect release date for this movie," he said. "James Wan has cracked the code on making great horror movies."

The director had another first-place opener earlier this summer with the "The Conjuring," another haunted-house thriller starring Patrick Wilson. Wilson returns in "Insidious 2," playing a husband and father with some scary personal baggage.

FilmDistrict's president of distribution, Jim Orr, said the film's ticket sales nearly doubled studio expectations.

"It's great to be in business with Blumhouse Productions and James Wan," he said. "They're just ridiculously talented and delivered a phenomenal film."

Another newcomer, Relativity Media's Robert De Niro-Michelle Pfeiffer crime caper "The Family," opened in second place with $14.5 million. That bumped last week's champ, "Riddick," to third.

The Weinstein Co.'s "Lee Daniels' The Butler" continued its strong performance with a fourth-place finish that saw North American ticket sales cross the $100 million mark.

The Jennifer Aniston-Jason Sudeikis Warner Bros. road-trip comedy "We're the Millers" rounded out the top five.

Both "The Butler" and "We're the Millers" have been in theaters for more than a month, contributing to a hearty box-office that's been up the past four consecutive weeks after a record-breaking summer season.

"These movies have legs week after week, and that's bolstering the entire marketplace," Dergarabedian said. "If you just have the brand-new movies doing well and the holdovers are dropping like rocks, then you have a problem."

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.

1. "Insidious: Chapter 2," $41 million ($5 million international).

2. "The Family," $14.5 million.

3. "Riddick," $7 million ($9.6 million international).

4. "Lee Daniels' The Butler," $5.58 million ($2.5 million international).

5. "We're the Millers," $5.4 million ($9 million international).

6. "Instructions Not Included," $4.25 million.

7. "Planes," $3.06 million ($10.7 million international).

8. "One Direction: This Is Us," $2.4 million.

9. "Elysium," $2.05 million ($8.5 million international).

10. "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," $1.82 million ($7.8 million international).

___

Estimated weekend ticket sales Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:

1. "The Smurfs 2," $17.6 million.

2. "White House Down," $13 million.

3. "Planes," $10.7 million.

4. "Riddick," $9.6 million.

5. "We're the Millers," $9 million.

6. "Elysium," $8.5 million.

7. "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," $7.8 million.

8. "The Conjuring," $7 million.

9. "Insidious: Chapter 2," $5 million.

10. "Despicable Me 2," $4.4 million.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.