Weekend Box Office: The Horror, the Horror…

For the umpteenth time this year, a tiny horror movie has destroyed another title that should have done much better. With the genre still going strong, don’t expect the scary streak to end anytime soon.

Capitalizing on the Friday the 13th release date, microbudget horror flick ‘Insidious: Chapter 2‘ not only crushed the competition, it also set a box office record as the second highest debuting September title. This opening weekend was just $1.5 million behind last year’s ‘Hotel Transylvania’. Mind you, ‘Insidious: Chapter 2’ didn’t need the help of 3D ticket prices to do so. The 2011 original was made with a very modest $1.5 million budget and earned $54 million domestically. ‘Chapter 2’ was made with a $5 million budget and has opened to $41 million. That’s just $13 million under the lifetime domestic gross of its predecessor. At this point, I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll see a ‘Chapter 3’ within the next year or two.

No matter how many once-big names appeared in Luc Besson’s ‘The Family‘, the film couldn’t come close to winning the weekend. The $30 million mobster comedy opened to a mild $14.5 million. While ‘Insidious’ targeted young viewers, ‘The Family (with a principal cast including three 55-and-over actors) aimed for older audiences – which seemed to help. The $14.5 million opening marks one of the best for Robert De Niro in recent years.

Last week’s winner ‘Riddick‘ suffered a second-weekend blow by dropping 63% in attendance, adding just $7 million to its haul for third place. After ten days in theaters, the $38 million film has earned $31.2 million.

Fourth place went to five-week-old ‘The Butler’. Lee Daniels’ $30 million drama stayed strong, dropping only 33% and earning another $5.5 million. That’s just enough to push it beyond the $100 million mark. Close on those heels was six-week-old ‘We’re the Millers‘. The $37 million comedy has now earned more than $131 million.

The IFC Sundance acquisition ‘Blue Caprice‘ did very well in its solitary screen opening, earning $15,200. IFC is expected to expand the theatrical release in coming weeks, but the film also debuts on VOD services this Tuesday.

Top 10:

1. ‘Insidious: Chapter 2’ (Film District) – $41,050,000

2. ‘The Family’ (Relativity) – $14,500,000

3. ‘Riddick’ (Universal) – $7,013,000

4. ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’ (Weinstein) – $5,582,000

5. ‘We’re the Millers’ (Warner Bros.) – $5,415,000

6. ‘Instructions Not Included’ (Lionsgate) – $4,250,000

7. ‘Planes’ (Buena Vista) – $3,066,000

8. ‘One Direction: This Is Us’ (TriStar) – $2,400,000

9. ‘Elysium’ (TriStar) – $2,050,000

10. ‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ (Fox) – $1,825,000

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