The Top 12 earned $89.5 million this weekend, which is up a whopping 30 percent from the same period last year.
Insidious 2's $40.3 million debut is over three times as high as its predecessor's $13.3 million opening, which is an incredible improvement for a sequel. It's also about on par with director James Wan's The Conjuring, which opened to $41.9 million in July. This is only the second time ever that a director has had two movies open over $40 million in the same year—the Wachowski siblings did it in 2003 with The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
The month of September is typically a slow one at the box office, so Insidious 2's opening ranks second all-time behind last year's Hotel Transylvania ($42.5 million). Overall, it ranks fourth among supernatural horror movies—behind Paranormal Activity 3, The Conjuring and Paranormal Activity 2—and is distributor FilmDistrict's top debut ever ahead of March's Olympus Has Fallen ($30.4 million). Insidious Chapter 2's success can be attributed to its excellent release date and its predecessor's strong reputation. Friday the 13th is considered to be haunted, and as a result studios have had great success releasing horror movies on this date. That worked out for Insidious Chapter 2:it made over half of its money on Friday, which suggests that the release date was a major draw.
The producers—led by horror movie expert Jason Blum—also made the smart decision to keep what worked in the first movie: Insidious Chapter 2 had the same cast, director, and visual aesthetic. That tends to be the best way to handle sequels, whether in the horror genre or not.
This has been a phenomenal year for horror so far. Insidious Chapter 2 is the fifth horror movie to open in first place this year with over $25 million; ordered by release date, the others are Mama, Evil Dead, The Purge and The Conjuring.
The movie's audience was 52 percent male—high for a horror movie—and 62 percent under the age of 25. It received a very good "B+" CinemaScore, which suggests it will have decent holds. Still, horror movies have a tendency to be very frontloaded, and it's unlikely that Insidious Chapter 2 makes it past $100 million.
In a distant second place, The Family opened to $14.03 million from 3,091 theaters. That's a solid start for the mob comedy—it ranks second all-time for director Luc Besson, and sixth all-time for distributor Relativity Media. Its audience was 54 percent female and 83 percent over the age of 25; unfortunately, it received a terrible "C" CinemaScore, which suggests it will fall pretty quickly.
In its second weekend, Riddick plummeted 64 percent to $6.8 million. Through 10 days in theaters, the sci-fi sequel has earned $31.1 million. Lee Daniels' The Butler dropped 34 percent to $5.5 million. On Sunday, it passed $100 million, which makes it the fifth Weinstein Company movie to ever reach that milestone. We're the Millers rounded out the Top Five with $5.4 million, which is off just 30 percent from last weekend. The road trip comedy has earned an excellent $131.6 million so far.
Spanish-language family comedy Instructions Not Included fell 40 percent to $4.86 million. It's now grossed $27.2 million, and should ultimately end its run with over $35 million.
Sony released a "Fan Cut" of One Direction: This is Us this weekend, and as a result the movie dipped a comparatively light 39 percent to $2.47 million. To date, the 3D concert flick has taken in $27 million. Around-the-World Roundup The Smurfs 2 led the foreign box office this weekend with $17.6 million. Over half of that came from China, where the movie opened in first place with $10.2 million. It also debuted in Australia, where it took in $2 million. To date, the family sequel has grossed $220 million overseas. White House Down added $13 million this weekend, which included unimpressive debuts in the U.K. ($1.8 million) and Spain ($1.3 million). The Roland Emmerich-directed action movie has so far banked $98 million at the foreign box office. Planes earned $10.7 million from 40 territories this weekend. It had solid starts in Mexico ($2.6 million) and Brazil ($1.9 million). To date, Planes has earned $55.8 million overseas, and still has Australia, France, Italy and Japan on the way. Riddick grossed $9.6 million this weekend for an early total of $22 million. It opened well in Russia ($4.3 million), but was less impressive in Australia ($1.1 million).