LOS ANGELES, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- "Prisoners" dominated the weekend North America box office with 21.4 million U.S. dollars worth of ticket sales, opening on the high end of pre-release anticipations.
The Warner Bros.-distributed crime thriller, starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and a stellar ensemble cast, debuted at 3, 260 theaters in the United States and Canada on Friday. It rolled up 7 million dollars in receipts on that day, and reaped a further 9 million dollars, up 28 percent, on Saturday for a decent weekend.
The R-rated film, developed, financed and produced by Alcon Entertainment at a 46-million-dollar budget, finished as the firm' s second biggest three-day opening after "Blind Side" in 2009. The semi-biopic starring Sandra Bullock took in 34.1 million dollars.
The film, which runs 2.5 hours in length, earned a 79-percent positive ratings from Rotten Tomatoes, and a "B+" CinemaScore from first night audiences.
It skewed slightly towards female moviegoers (52 percent) and 72 percent of the moviegoers was 25 years and older.
"Insidious Chapter 2", in theaters for the second weekend, finished in second with a projected 14.5-million-dollar haul. The FilmDistrict low budget thriller sequel, directed by James Wan, has grossed more than 60 million dollars worth of ticket sales so far.
"The Family" finished at No. 3 with a 7-million-dollar business. The Relativity Media flick, directed by Luc Besson and stars Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, is on track for a 25.6- million-dollar two-week total.
The Spanish-language comedy "Instructions Not Included" placed No. 4 for a 5.7-million-dollar business. It has grossed more than 34 million dollars since opening three weeks ago.
Another wide release of the weekend, "Battle of the Year", opened at No. 5 with a 5-million-dollar weekend. The modestly budgeted 3-D dance film from Sony/Screen Gems featuring Josh Holloway and Chris Brown, hitting 2,008 venues, won over only 6 percent of Rotten Tomatoes critics. But it earned a "A-" average CinemaScore rating from audiences. Sixty percent of moviegoers was female and 55 percent 21 years and older.
Rounding out the top 10 most popular films in North America this weekend, as estimated by studios, were "We're The Millers" (4. 7 million), "Lee Daniels: The Butler" (4.3 million), "Riddick" (3. 7 million), "Wizard of Oz 3-D" (3 million), and "Planes" (2.8 million).