Weekend Wrap-Up

Insidious Scores Over Friday the 13th Weekend

By John Hamann

September 15, 2013

Get up! Our house is apparently generating weather!

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The same thing happened with Insidious Chapter 2. Despite the huge opening day, where any other film could expect a $55-$60 million opening, Chapter 2 finished the weekend with $41 million, and had a weekend multiplier of 2.05. No one should be overly surprised by this outcome, given the Thursday screenings being piled into the Friday number, and the Friday skewing like a Christmas Day moviegoing pattern for a horror flick. As I mentioned above, the producers likely don’t overly care what happened beyond day one, as the strategy worked. Remember, Insidious Chapter 2 cost $5 million to make, an amount it had earned before the Friday 7 p.m. show started on the East Coast. Simply put, Insidious Chapter 2 earned eight times its production budget this weekend because of a smart release strategy, and really not much else.

Will the sequel see the legs the first film in the insidious series enjoyed so much? Very likely not. First off, the big opening frame severely limits much chance for legs. Second, the sequel didn’t receive the same solid reviews of the first. At Rotten Tomatoes, Chapter 2 earned only 29 positive reviews out of a possible 79, giving it a rotten rating of 37%. The good news is that the Cinemascore was decent, coming in at a B+, but that score is likely skewed given the release date, and that fans of the original likely came out on Friday night. Going back to the 2009 version of Friday the 13th, that film earned 62% of its domestic revenue over opening weekend, as it topped out at $60 million, following an opening weekend of $40.6 million.


Coming in second is our other opener, the Robert DeNiro/Michelle Pfeiffer starrer, The Family, about a mafia family who moves to France under the witness protection program. With DeNiro in a character that everyone relates to, and Luc Besson (director) and Martin Scorsese (executive producer) peppering the credits, The Family did okay this weekend. It took in $14.5 million from 3,091 venues, giving it an average of $4,691. The problem here, and what audiences likely picked up on, is that we have a star-studded cast, and sadly limp reviews. The premise sounds great, but in the plugged-in world we live in now, most know that this one isn’t very good. Reviews were soft at 32% fresh at RottenTomatoes, and the Cinemascore was worse, coming in at only a C, which will cause early death for a film like this. This is more Analyze That than Analyze This, and audiences are on to it. The Family cost Relativity only $30 million to make, so given the European setting and the cast, it should equal the $35 million it will earn stateside overseas, and end up as a profitable entry for all involved.

Finishing third is last weekend’s number one film, Riddick. After a $19 million opening last weekend, the bottom fell out of Riddick’s ship this weekend, as revenues plummeted for the $38 million, independently financed Universal release. In its second weekend, the Vin Diesel starrer could only find $7 million, which means the three-quel fell 63% this weekend. Good thing Diesel didn’t spend $100 million on this one as the studio did on the second film, because audiences are not turning out for the character, despite decent but not spectacular reviews. Riddick has now earned $31.3 million stateside against that $38 million budget, and is flailing a bit overseas with less than $10 million thus far.

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