Box Office Results: The Purge Surprises with Big Win

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions’ The Purge took the box office by surprise this weekend, earning an estimated $36.4 million in first place from 2,536 theaters. Made for just $3 million, the thriller averaged a strong $14,345 per theater. Written and directed by James DeMonaco, the film stars Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane and Max Burkholder.

Universal also claimed the second spot with Fast & Furious 6, which added $19.8 million its third weekend for a total of $202.9 million already. The sixth installment cost $160 million to make.

Louis Letterier’s all-star magical heist thriller Now You See Me (Summit) , starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, took a close third with $19.5 million and $61.4 million after just ten days.

Thought to be one of the bigger comedies of the summer thanks to its reunion of Wedding Crashers stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, 20th Century Fox’s The Internship instead ended up with half of its competition, bringing in just $18.1 million in nearly 800 more theaters than The Purge to take fourth place.

The animated action-adventure Epic (20th Century Fox) dropped only 27% in its third weekend to take fifth place with $12.1 million and $84.1 million grossed total.

J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into Darkness took sixth place with $11.7 million, down a respectable 30% from last weekend, as it became the fourth movie of 2013 to cross the $200 million mark.

Will and Jaden Smith’s science fiction epic After Earth (Sony) took a massive plunge in its second weekend, dropping from third place all the way down to seventh with $11.2 million, down 59%. While it’s only grossed $46.6 million domestically, it’s doing very well overseas where it debuted with $45.5 million in 60 territories this weekend.

Todd Phillips’ The Hangover Part III (Warner Bros.) also didn’t hold well, dropping another 55% to eight place with $7.4 million, having grossed $102.4 million since opening before Memorial Day.

On the other hand, Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3, starring Robert Downey Jr., can claim itself as the #5 highest grossing film globally and #7 internationally as it brought its worldwide total to $1.196 billion with $802.3 million of that amount from overseas. Domestically, it dropped to ninth place with $5.8 million, having grossed $394.3 million and putting it well ahead of the pack as the highest grossing movie of 2013.

Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, wrapped up the Top 10 with $4.2 million and $136.2 million sine opening five weeks back.

While it seemed like this might be a down weekend last year, the success of The Purge helped push the Top 10 over an estimated $146.1 million for the weekend, which allowed it to surpass the same weekend last year when the blockbuster epic Snow White and the Huntsman opened with $56.2 million and the Top 10 grossed $132.2 million.

After directing the #1 highest opening movie of all time last summer, director Joss Whedon took a more low-key approach to his next project, a black and white DIY adaptation of William Shakespeaere’s here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.