UPDATE: Universal’s low-budget horror film, “The Purge,” is invading theaters at an alarming rate. The $3 million-produced feature from Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions is on track for $14 million Friday and a controlling $30 million weekend, according to early estimates. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn’s “The Internship,” meanwhile, is No. 2 with a tepid $19 million weekend.
Universal’s home invasion thriller, “The Purge,” scared up an impressive $3.4 million Thursday night as the rest of the competition prepares for June gloom at the box office.
The $3 million-budgeted horror film, starring Ethan Hawke, is expected to earn $20 million-plus this weekend, edging 20th Century Fox’s $58 million comedy “The Internship,” which will likely enroll in the mid-to-high teens.
Also in the $14 million-$17 million sector will be leftovers “Fast and Furious 6″ and Sony’s disappointing “After Earth.”
Produced by Jason Blum, “The Purge” represented 54% of all ticket sales on Fandango on Thursday and is currently outselling all 2013 horror films, according to the website.
“The Purge” definitely struck a nerve with moviegoers, with social media buzz that’s been off the charts,” says Fandango President Paul Yanover. ”It has been our top-selling horror movie of the year so far, in terms of pre-sales.”
Directed by James DeMonaco, “The Purge” tells the story of a future society where all criminal activity is legal for one night each year. “Game of Thrones” actress Lena Headey co-stars.