Thanks to The Purge: Election Year, horror continues to shine at the Box Office. The James DeMonaco helmed picture essentially repeats the events of the previous year’s big Purge event, but any dearth of innovation has been cleverly concealed by heightened tension and more ruthless violence. Word is, Election Year is a rather unforgiving piece of work.
Moviegoers are certainly eating this stuff up.
The Purge: Election Year didn’t debut in the top slot, or even the second, for that matter. It debuted in the number three position, and given its competition over the weekend, that’s a huge moral victory. It’s a pretty big financial victory, as well. Tangling with Finding Dory and family friendly flicks The Legend of Tarzan and The BFG, it’s a wonder the picture earned anything over the weekend, let alone an extremely respectable $31 million.
The flick’s reported budget was $10 million. Election Year sold $31 million in ticket sales over the course of its opening weekend, three days. There’s a fair chance this one ends its theatrical run having raked in somewhere north of $75 million. Three more strong weeks and Election Year will definitely be inspiring studios to ink new contracts. Few saw it coming, but it looks as though The Purge is the next annual genre gift, usurping the likes of Paranormal Activity and Saw.
Just a quick recap. The Purge: Election Year cost Universal $10 million to make. It tripled its budget in a few days. While not unanimously loved, there are certainly those enjoying the film. Right now it sports a 54% on the Tomatometer. Which suggests that audiences are torn right down the center.
Either way, after a $31 million opening, it’s safe to say we’ll celebrate the Purge at least a few more times.
A quick note on a few other genre installments: Independence Day: Resurgence added an additional $16.5 million to the film’s current total of $72 million, a major disappointment for the studio, as FOX invested $165 million in the picture. At this rate it may end up the Summer’s Sad Song. Independence Day: Resurgence fell from second to fifth place.
The Shallows made a similar plunge. After opening in the fourth position at the box office with a total take of $16 million, it’s now fallen to seventh place. It added $9 million to push the film’s new total domestic earning figure to $35 million. Having doubled its budget of $17 million we can call this one a success.
And finally you’ve got The Conjuring 2, still hanging on to a top 10 position. The Conjuring 2 slips into the number nine position with another $3 million in tickets sold. The movie has now made more than $95 million domestically, against a $40 million budget.
As unlikely as it may seem, we’re seeing a strong stretch for the genre on the commercial market. Outside of a few complete misfires (here’s looking at you, The Darkness), we’ve seen a lot of successful titles released recently. The Purge: Election Year, The Shallows, The Conjuring 2, The Boy, Goosebumps, Hotel Transylvania 2 have all surpassed their budgets, making them technical commercial success stories, whether they were legitimately good, or not.
Hell, even the clunker known as The Forest comfortably recovered all production funds.