LOS ANGELES, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Director James Wan's latest film "Insidious: Chapter 2" has once again turned into a dominant force at the North America box office, finishing in the top slot with ease over the weekend.
The sequel in the epic horror film franchise, a PG-13-rated thriller, opened as the top grosser on Friday with a 20-million-U. S. dollar receipt of tickets from 3,049 locations in the United States and Canada. It is projected to finish in No. 1 with a 41- million-dollar weekend, which came as a shock.
This makes it eclipse the previous September opening day record of 13.1 million dollars set and held by "Sweet Home Alabama". This feat is also better than Wan's earlier piece "The Conjuring" which had the year's top horror opening of 16.96 million dollars.
The film, co-financed and co-produced by Blum's Blumhouse, Entertainment One (Alliance) and IM Global, was distributed by FilmDistrict. It had a micro budget of 5 million dollars.
The thriller reunited Wan with script writer Leigh Whannell and the original cast of Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye and Barbara Hershey. It follows the Lambert family as they seek to understand the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world.
Audiences responded more favorably to the film than critics. According to reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, it earned a 36- percent approval rating, but fans of the first night screening assigned it a "B+" promising CinemaScore.
Another wide release over the weekend is Luc Besson's "The Family", a star-studded dark mob comedy which is estimated to rake in 13.9 million dollars worth of tickets, finishing in No. 2.
The film, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, follows a Mafia boss and his family's struggle after they moved to a small town in France. It was directed and co- written by Luc Besson and executive produced by Martin Scorsese.
However, Besson's stature and a drove of Hollywood big shots have not helped the comedy at box office. It earned a minimal "C" CinemaScore, and a 33-percent approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes.
It was made by Relativity Media and Besson's EuropaCorp media on a 30-million-dollar budget.
Vin Diesel's sci-fi adventure vehicle "Riddick" is projected to notch a 66-percent drop, taking in 6.5 million dollars to place at No. 3. It has grossed 30.8 million dollars since opening in cinemas last weekend.
Rounding out the 10 most popular films in North America this weekend, as estimated by studios, were "Lee Daniel's The Butler" ( 5.5 million dollars), "We're the Millers" (5.4 million), " Instructions Not Included" (4.1 million), "Planes" (2.9 million), "One Direction: This Is Us" (2.4 million), "Elysium" (2.2 million), and "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" (1.8 million).