‘Insidious: Chapter 2’ Off to Huge $20M Start at Box Office

Horror sequel should top $40 million this weekend

“Insidious: Chapter 2” is off to a frightfully good start at the weekend box office.

The low-budget offering from Blumhouse Productions and FilmDistrict opened to a huge $20 million on Friday in 3,049 locations, shattering box office projections. The sequel could earn more than $40 million if it continues to attract comparable crowds as the weekend chugs along.

Audiences seemed to like the film better than critics. The movie earned a mediocre 41 percent “rotten” rating on the critics aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences gave it a solid B+ rating, according to Cinemascore.

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The film cost an economical $5 million to make and didn’t muck with the formula that made the 2011 original a breakout hit.

It brought back stars Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson, as well as director James Wan, who saw his stock rise in Hollywood recently thanks to the box office smash “The Conjuring.” This film secures him a place on the A-list and validates Universal’s decision to hand him the keys to its “Fast & the Furious” franchise.

“Insidious: Chapter 2” built up an impressive head of steam going into the weekend in terms of pre-sales. Fandango reported that the film was the best-selling horror film in terms of pre-sales so far this year, outselling “Mama,” “The Purge” and Wan’s “The Conjuring.”

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The weekend’s other new wide release, Relativity Media’s mob comedy “The Family,” earned a decent $5.4 million at the box office from 3,091 theaters. It should close the weekend with more than $15 million in ticket sales. “The Family” stars Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer and cost $30 million to produce. Audiences didn’t find much to laugh at, however, handing the film a C Cinemascore rating.

Vin Diesel‘s action sequel “Riddick” grossed $2.2 million on Friday and should add roughly $7 million to its domestic haul, while Mexican comedy “Instructions Not Included” continued its strong box office run, expanding to 933 locations this weekend and earning $1.4 million on Friday.

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” earned $1.7 million on Friday and is expected to cross the $100 million mark at the domestic box office this weekend.

For the Record: An earlier version of this story stated that Film Nation was involved in the project. FIlmDistrict is the distributor — not Film Nation.