'The Purge: Anarchy' Scares Up $2.6

Sex Tape” and “The Purge: Anarchy” got a jump on the weekend box office on Thursday, with the sexy romp grossing $1.1 million and the horror thriller earning $2.6 million.

Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue” snared roughly $500,000 from its Thursday showings, in line with what the previous film in the animated franchise did in its initial day of screening.

Universal’s “The Purge: Anarchy” looks like it has the best shot at unseating last weekend’s box office champ, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”  The “Purge” sequel is another micro-budget production from Jason Blum’s shop.  Shot for $9 million, the picture should scare up to $30 million this weekend when it expands from 2,194 theaters to 3,303 locations.  That’s a tidy sum for such an economical production.

“Sex Tape” began showing in 2,457 theaters, beginning at 7 p.m., with the studio comparing its initial reception to the $550,000 that “The Other Woman” brought in during its late night showings before grossing $23 million and the $1 million that “The Heat” racked up on the way to a $39 million debut.

Produced by Columbia Pictures for $40 million, the bedroom farce will expand to 3,060 locations and is on track to earn roughly $26 million.  The picture reunited the “Bad Teacher” crew of Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and director Jake Kasdan.

The films won’t earn any laurels from critics. “The Purge: Anarchy” maintains a 56% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “Planes: Fire & Rescue” holds a 48% “rotten” ranking and “Sex Tape” holds a woeful 16% rotten grade.

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” also debuts this weekend and is gunning for a landing in the mid-$20 million range.

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