After a huge Friday opening, low-budget horror movie Insidious 2 has earned $41 million at the box office in its first weekend. The sequel to the 2010 film, which cost only $5 million to make, scored the second-best September debut ever; last year’s Hotel Transylvania pulled in $42.5 million in its first weekend.
Insidious 2 earned $20 million Friday, followed by The Family($5.4 million).
The James Wan-directed flick came close to matching his summer 2013 blockbuster The Conjuring, which debuted to a $41.9 million opening. The Jason Blum-produced film broke The Purge‘s record as the biggest opening for a an original R-rated horror film. The Conjuring dropped only 47 percent in its second week, earning $22.2 million. Most horror movies drop at least 50 percent in their second weekend.
“It obviously pays to be in business with Jason Blum’s Blumhouse. They created the microbudgeted horror business and they absolutely dominate,” FilmDistrict president of distribution Jim Orr said.
“The original Insidious generated a lot of goodwill and people wanted to see the next chapter. James Wan is an amazing director. Combine that with a Friday the 13th release date and you get this great result,” he added.
Insidious 2 follows the story of the Josh and Renai Lambert (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) as they try to understand the childhood secret that has left them connected to the spirit world. The first film was released in 2011 and cost only $1.5 million to make. It went on to earn $97 million at the box office, the most profitable film of the year. Insidious received generally positive reviews, but did receive some criticism about its second half.
The Family, starring Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones, and Michelle Pfeiffer, opened to $14.5 million.
“We’re very happy,” said Kyle Davies, Relativity’s distribution president. “This is a great example of successful counter- programming. We went for the older audience, while Insidious was very successful with younger moviegoers. It worked out.”
Riddick, starring Vin Diesel, earned $7 million in its second weekend, bringing its North American total to $31 million.
Unfortunately for the Insidious and The Conjuring franchises, James Wan is quitting the horror genre.
“I’m going to go on record and say I am finished with the horror genre. Conjuring and Insidious 2 are my two last scary movies,” he said. “I spent the last ten years of my life doing this. It’s time for a change.”