'Insidious' haunts De Niro's 'Family' at box office

3:35 PM, Sep 15, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Cheap scares continue to frighten the daylights out of Hollywood's biggest stars and pricier competition.

Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer became the latest casualties of low-budget terror as the critically panned, $5 million sequel Insidious Chapter 2devoured their Mob comedy The Family this weekend at the box office.

Insidious collected $41.1 million, according to studio estimates, coasting to an easy win at theaters and marking the latest fright flick shot on a shoestring budget to vanquish competing movies with deeper wallets.

Analysts already were expecting solid numbers fromInsidious, which follows June's $3 million The Purgeand January's $15 million Mama, both of which became surprise No. 1 hits.

Forecasters expected Insidious to do $25 million. By Friday night, it had already scared up $20 million.

Ray Subers of Box Office Mojo says the film proved invulnerable to critics' barbs - only 37% of the nation's reviewers liked the sequel, says Rottentomatoes.com - because fans were already sold on the haunted house story from the 2011 original, which did $54 million.

And the calendar didn't hurt, Subers says.

He says the Patrick Wilson film surged by "combining goodwill from the first movie with a Friday the 13th release date." The fortuitous timing "gives the impression that this is a major horror event," Subers says.

The debut was major enough to leave De Niro and Pfeiffer accepting silver medals. The $30 million Family took second place with $14.5 million, beating most analysts' modest expectations.

The Vin Diesel sci-fi thriller Riddick took third with $7 million, followed by Lee Daniels' The Butler with $5.6 million.

Jennifer Aniston's comedy We're the Millers rounded out the top five with $5.4 million.

Final figures are due Monday.

Most Watched Videos