September 16, 2013 - 13:53 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - James Wan's Insidious 2 frightened awake the sleepy fall box office with $41 million in ticket sales -- the No. 2 September opening of all time, as well as one of the top debuts ever for a supernatural horror title. The sequel, fueled by younger moviegoers and released Friday the 13th, cost a scant $5 million to produce, The Hollywood Reporter said.
The FilmDistrict release, proving another resounding victory for the horror genre, as well as for producer Jason Blum, nearly matched the $41.9 million opening of New Line's 2013 summer hit The Conjuring and did more than three times the business of the first Insidious, which debuted to $13.3 million in April 2011.
Insidious 2 couldn't topple September record-holder Hotel Transylvania, which opened to $42.5 million last year, but wasn't far behind. The horror sequel, written by Leigh Whannell, returns Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne in the title roles and picks up immediately where Insidious left off. It drew a B+ CinemaScore, a top grade for a horror title.
Overseas, the horror pic rolled out in its first two countries, grossing $5 million for a worldwide bow of $46 million.
In North America, consumers under the age of 25 made up 62 percent of ticket holders -- one of the best showings in recent memory (19 percent were under the age of 18) -- thanks to FilmDistrict's aggressive marketing campaign targeting young horror fans. FilmDistrict also went after Hispanic moviegoers.
"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 continued.
Insidious 2 follows the Lambert family as they seek to understand the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world. Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins also star.
Oren Peli produced Insidious 2 alongside Blum. Executive producers are Steven Schneider, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Charles Layton, Peter Schlessel, Lia Buman and Xavier Marchand. The weekend's other new nationwide release was director Luc Besson's star-studded The Family, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer. The dark mob comedy opened to a so-so $14.5 million.
Produced for $30 million by Relativity Media and Besson's EuropaCorp, The Family likely was dampened by poor reviews and a C CinemaScore. The movie skewed notably older, with 83 percent of the ticket buyers over the age of 25. It marked one of De Niro's best openings in recent years outside of the Meet the Fockers franchise.