Weekend Box Office: James Wan conjures big bucks—again 

Weekend Box Office: James Wan conjures big bucks—again 

With Jason Voorhees still on extended hiatus, horny camp counselors breathed a little easier this past Friday the 13th. Superstitious suburban parents, on the other hand, had new reason to wring their hands and study their scripture. Insidious: Chapter 2, director James Wan’s latest haunted-house exercise, blew into theaters like a gust of cold, malevolent air. The haunting sequel scared up an impressive $41 million—way more than the $13.3 million its predecessor opened with two years ago and on par with what Wan’s The Conjuring made out the gate just a few weeks ago. Close to half of the new film’s profits came in on opening day, suggesting that studios have seriously undervalued the opportunity to release scream-worthy fare on this semi-regular “holiday.” Hell, only a quarter of the Friday The 13th movies even opened on Friday the 13th. (Don’t get us started on Halloween and Halloween.)

While Patrick Wilson again tried in vain to protect his onscreen family from an epic case of the willies, it was Robert De Niro and his clan doing the scaring in The Family. Luc Besson’s action-comedy, in which a vicious mobster and his equally deranged wife and kids terrify the populace of a small French town, scored a modest $14.5 million out the gate. That was about double what Riddick ($7 million) took home in its second weekend, though the Vin Diesel vehicle is already closing in on its very modest $38 million budget. Rounding off the top five were two very successful, very different August holdovers, Lee Daniels’ The Butler ($5.5 million) and We’re The Millers ($5.4 million), both of which have benefitted from a general dearth of comparable big-screen programming. A flood of upcoming prestige productions should chase The Butler out of the top tier, though it could be over a month, when that new Jackass movie opens, before audiences have a suitably lowbrow substitution for We’re The Millers.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.