‘purge,’ ‘internship’ try to outrun ‘fast and furious 6’ at weekend box office
There’s still one more week before “Man of Steel” arrives, so things should be relatively low-key at the box office.
Low-budget horror flick “The Purge” is likely to steal the #1 spot away from “The Internship,” which boasts not only a bigger budget but bigger stars, as well. The new comedy might even have to settle for #3 behind two-time champ “Fast & Furious 6.”
Last weekend, it was big-name stars Will Smith and his son Jaden that flamed out at the box office, despite their status in Hollywood. This weekend, the “Wedding Crashers” team of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are poised to follow suit. Despite its R rating, “Wedding Crashers” cleared nearly $210 million back in 2005, thanks to a clever premise and great reviews. “Marley & Me” was a hit for Wilson, and Vaughn scored as part of “The Break-Up,” “Four Christmases” and “Couple’s Retreat.”
However, “The Dilemma” and “The Watch” — both starring Vaughn — and “Hall Pass” and “The Big Year” — featuring Wilson — all bombed. Wilson was part of the critical and commercial hit “Midnight in Paris” as well as “Cars 2,” a critical misfire but $191 million hit. As BoxOfficeMojo.com pointed out, the stars in those cases were really Woody Allen and Pixar, respectively. Fox has predicted a $12 million opening for “The Internship,” about a pair of middle-aged interns stuck in a sea of youth at Google.
Despite being less raunchy than the comedic pair’s big collaboration from eight years ago, the PG-13 romp Vaughn described to MTV News as having a lot of “optimism” and “heart” has not been received well by critics. “‘The Internship’ takes a padded two hours to tell a thin story that buries its charm in emo-mongering and Google plugs,” Rolling Stone wrote.
Box-office analysts have predicted as much as $15 million for “The Internship” this weekend, but that would still place it behind “The Purge” and “Fast & Furious 6.” “The Purge” carried a reported production budget of just $3 million — compared to the $58 million 20th Century Fox and Regency Pictures spent on “The Internship” — and was produced by Jason Blum, the guy behind the small-budget/huge-profit franchise “Paranormal Activity.” Last year, his $3 million horror flick “Sinister” cleared nearly $78 million worldwide. Blum also produced “Insidious,” which made $97 million worldwide on a $1.5 million budget the year before.
“Sinister” star Ethan Hawke returns in “The Purge,” which is about a future society where all criminal activity is legal for one night each year. Despite poor reviews, Fandago reported that audience interest is high. “The Purge” is a blend of social commentary and horror, like “Sinister,” which is what attracted Hawke. “That for me is what a genre movie is supposed to be,” Hawke told MTV News in a recent interview. “That’s what I’m hunting for in good genre films.”
Speaking of small budgets, the man who directed the third-largest grossing movie of all time has a passion project opening in just five theaters this week. “Avengers” director Joss Whedon’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” was made for just $11 million.
Who will take the top spot? Sound off in the comments below!