September 14, 2013



OPENINGS:  INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2 (FilmDistrict) had the year’s biggest horror start with $20.1M (including $1.5M from Thursday night).  That compares to $17M for The Conjuring, the year’s biggest hit in the genre (and also from director James Wan).  Insidious 2, though, is likely to be much more front-loaded, given its fairly lousy reviews and Friday the 13th opening, so the full weekend is likely to be very close to Conjuring‘s $41.9M.  With a $5M production budget and relatively low marketing costs, Insidious 2 may be in profit by Sunday.  THE FAMILY (Relativity) is off to an unexciting start with $5.4M on Friday, having failed to get the kind of reviews that would bring audiences to a Robert DeNiro/Michelle Pfeiffer vehicle.

HOLDOVERS:  RIDDICK (Universal) had legs of jelly, down 70% from last week’s opening day to $2.2M. Even with a reasonable production cost, it’ll only see profit if international audiences are more interested, and goes to show that Vin Diesel needs Universal as much as the studio needs the Fast and Furious star. INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED (Liongate/Televisa) expanded again to 933 theatres, and while its per-theatre number is shrinking, it’s still selling tickets, down just 15% Friday-to-Friday to $1.4M.  ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US (Tristar/Sony) played an angle to keep its numbers up, releasing an expanded cut for the die-hard fans and dropping just 29% Friday-to-Friday.

Longtime hits THE BUTLER (Weinstein) and WE’RE THE MILLERS (Warners) continue strong, down a respective 30% and 25% from last Friday to $1.7M.  PLANES (Disney), ELYSIUM (TriStar/Sony) and PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS (20th) all held well, down 17-29%–but all were well below $1M for the day, nearing the end of their runs.  THIS IS THE END (Sony) should accomplish its goal of hitting $100M by Sunday.

LIMITED RELEASE:  WADJDA (Sony Pictures Classics) is off to an OK start, with what should be a $10-12K per-theatre average in 3.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The excellent PRISONERS (Warners) arrives from the raves it’s been receiving at film festivals, and RUSH (Universal), also fresh from the festival circuit, starts a platform run in a few big cities before opening wide the following week.  The 3D Imax version of THE WIZARD OF OZ (Warners) begins its niche run, and BATTLE OF THE YEAR (Screen Gems/Sony) enters wide release.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."