Box Office: The Purge May Become an American Box Office Tradition


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Thus far this year not a single horror movie has been able to gross more than $33 million. The Purge: Anarchy nearly topped that in its opening weekend. Perhaps purging is on its way to becoming an American tradition after all.

The Purge opened to $34 million a little over a year ago. The hastily produced follow-up brought in $28 million its opening weekend. That was good enough to boost the Universal/Blumhouse production to second place for the slow weekend that continued to be dominated by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Given the initial installment of The Purge was made for $3 million and this heavily John Carpenter-inspired follow-up cost only $9 million, the likelihood of this becoming an ongoing franchise seems assured. We’ll know for sure that The Purge has achieved franchise status when The Asylum produces a mockbuster entitled The Binge.

As mentioned, apes ruled the box office for the second week in a row. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took in $36 million in its second weekend, bringing its two-week total to $139 million. Safe to say we can expect the next “(BLANK) of the Planet of the Apes” in 2-3 years. Given how movie titles work these days and the franchise has already used “rise of” and “dawn of,” I’m fully expecting the next film in the series to be titled either Age of the Planet of the Apes or Resurrection of the Planet of the Apes.

Remember Deliver Us from Evil? The “inspired by true events” demonic possession police procedural has already dropped out of the top 10 and looks to end its theatrical run at just barely over $30 million.

Unless you count the terror of tornadoes (Into the Storm), the horror genre doesn’t return to the big screen until the end of August, when As Above, So Below and Jessabelle open on the same weekend…

What’s that? Oh? Jessabelle has been bumped to November and will debut simultaneously on VOD, meaning its originally scheduled wide release will now most likely be a limited run. Does this mean that Jessabelle is a casualty of Hollywood taking notice that audiences aren’t flocking to ghostly horror films like they had been?

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