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'Prisoners' Captures #1 Spot With $21 Million

'Prisoners' Captures #1 Spot With $21 Million

Prisoners, the Warner Bros. (NYSE: TWX) hostage drama starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, led the box office after defeating FilmDistrict's Insidious Chapter 2.

Directed by James Wan, the second Insidious earned an estimated $14.5 million -- 64 percent less than what the firm earned ($40.2 million) when it opened last weekend.

That is a steeper drop than the one experienced by Wan's last horror film, The Conjuring, which earned $41.8 million during its first weekend and $22.2 million during its second weekend.

While The Conjuring carried an R rating, Insidious Chapter 2 was rated PG-13. This gave it greater reach than other, more violent horror films.

Prisoners, which was helmed by Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, did not have the luxury of achieving a PG-13 rating. The dark subject matter (two little girls are kidnapped on Thanksgiving) and grotesque visuals might be acceptable on a TV show like Law & Order: SVU, but they are considered R-rated material for movie theaters.

Thus far, the R rating has not hindered Prisoners' success. According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed an estimated $21.4 million in theaters last weekend. That is only a couple million less than the amount that Warner Bros.'s The Town (which had a more neutral bank heist theme) earned in January 2011.

Related: Disney and DreamWorks Struggle to Reach Box Office Milestones

With a budget of $46 million, Prisoners should become profitable by the end of its box office run.

Insidious Chapter 2, which cost $5 million to produce and has earned a total of $60.8 million domestically, is already profitable.

Relativity's The Family came in third place with $7 million. This brings the film's total domestic gross to $25.6 million -- roughly $4 million less than its $30 million budget.

Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF) Instructions Not Included came in fourth place with $5.7 million, followed by Screen Gems' Battle of the Year with $5 million.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Battle of the Year Box Office Mojo Denis Villeneuve FilmDistrict Hugh JackmanNews Success Stories Tech Best of Benzinga


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