Thriller film "The Purge" debuts as surprise winner at North America

Updated: 2013-06-12 13:24


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LOS ANGELES -- Ultra-low budget thriller "The Purge" has overrun the North America box office with a surprisingly better-than-expected take of receipts, outperforming other rivals as it was opened to wide release over the weekend.

The R-rated film, starring "Training Day" actor Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey from "Games of Thrones", is projected to rake in 36.4 million dollars worth of tickets since it opened in 2,536 locations in the United States and Canada during Friday-Sunday period. The take is much better than the previously anticipated target of 20 million to 25 million dollars.

The surprise box office winner, directed and written by James DeMonaco, received a 41 percent approval rating from review aggregator It also earned a "C" CinemaScore, which is a respectable feat for a thriller.

The Universal release costs only 3 million dollars to make. Fifty-six percent of those who have seen it were female and 56 percent under 25 years.

"Fast & Furious 6," another Universal release on the market, garnered No. 2 spot with an estimated ticket revenue of 19.8 million dollars. The Justin Lin-directed racing film is on pace for a combined revenue of 202 million dollars over three weeks.

Lionsgate's "Now You See Me," which stars an ensemble cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo and Woody Harrelson, was ranked No. 3 with a 19.5 million dollar weekend. It is on track to gross 61.37 million dollars worth of tickets over two weeks.

Another new release of the weekend, "The Internship," opened at No.4 with an estimated ticket revenue of 18.1 million dollars. The PG-13 comedy from the 20th Century Fox partnered Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in their second film together after starring in the 2005 film "Wedding Crashers." The duo played two middle-aged men who apply to Google's internship program.

Rounding out the 10 most popular films in North America this weekend were "Epic" (12.1 million U.S. dollars), "Star Trek Into Darkness" (11.7 million), "After Earth" (11.2 million), "The Hangover Part III" (7.4 million), "Iron Man 3" (5.8 million), and "The Great Gatsby" (4.2 million).

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