Box Office Report (US): PRISONERS Breaks into Top-Spot

Written by Zachary Fox Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Movie News

The damning quiet of the autumn months confidently asserted itself this week, with the Top 12 pulling in a collective $73.1 million. Equivalent to a slow Tuesday for your average Marvel spiel.

PRISONERS – the kidnap drama/thriller starring Hugh Jackman in beardy sensitive mode – claimed 1st place with $20.8 million. It follows on a recent Warner Bros. trend, who have taken to releasing adult-orientated dramas during the autumnal lull including THE TOWN ($23.8 million), CONTAGION ($22.4 million) and Oscar wizard ARGO ($19.5 million).

PRISONERS faced a tough challenge, it’s concept isn’t the most appealing – kidnapping is a tough sell to pretty much anyone – but with measured marketing and a dash of common sense it’s come out fighting. By focusing on its ‘race against time’ aesthetic and using Jackman’s character to appeal to worried parents everywhere, it’s gathered a satisfyingly split audience and a healthy CinemaScore of A-.

With decent word-of-mouth and a general sense of goodwill, PRISONERS could end up north of $80 million, but there is competition on the horizon in October.

INSIDIOUS 2 continued to work its magic, dropping one to 2nd place. Despite plunging 66% to $13.8 million, it’s already made more money than its predecessor with a two week gross of $60.2 million and has guaranteed director James Wan another hit. Even if it isn’t quite of the same stature as his summer blockbuster THE CONJURING. But then again, anymore box office black magic and he may have been tried as a witch.

Loitering in 3rd stands Luc Besson’s THE FAMILY (don’t worry, nobody else has heard of it either) which fell 50% to $7 million for a $25.6 million gross while remarkable Spanish comedy INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED actually managed to increase by 11%! With a $5.4 million weekend it’s so far gathered $33.96 million, meaning that by next month it will surpass PAN’S LABYRINTH ($37.6 million) and become the 4th highest grossing foreign language film of all time.

Completing the Top 5 is 3D dance movie BATTLE OF THE YEAR (yes, they still make those!) but with an atrocious pick-up of $4.6 million it’ll likely kill off its longtime dying genre.

As a final note, the IMAX 3D re-release of the cinematic classic THE WIZARD OF OZ managed to scramble into the Top 10, claiming ninth with $3.09 million. TOP GUN, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and others have had a similar treatment in recent years, but OZ has easily beaten them all.

As it’s been such a quiet week, here’s a limerick about Hugh Jackman:

I love musicals,
Why can’t I be a singer?
Rage rage rage rage rage

Domestic Top 10

1. Prisoners

2. Insidious 2

3. The Family

4. Instructions Not Included

5. Battle of the Year

6. We’re the Millers

7. The Butler

8. Riddick

9. Wizard of Oz

10. Planes

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