(Photo: Universal Pictures)
Big surprise at the box office this weekend. Under-the-radar horror film The Purge came in first place with a whopping $36.4 million. The thriller, starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, far surpassed its $20 million opening expectations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Fast & Furious 6 held strong in second with a $19.8 million gross in its third weekend. Now You See Me, the illusion-thriller starring Mark Ruffalo and Morgan Freeman, came in third with $19.5 million.
Rounding out the top five were The Internship, starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, and the animated film Epic, voiced by Beyoncé, bringing in $18.1 million and $12.1 million, respectively.
After Earth plunged to seventh place in its second week of release, collecting just $11.2 million in coin. The film's worldwide total of $95 million in two weeks is well below star Will Smith's batting average, and Smith addressed the disappointment on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week with characteristic charm.
"Three is the new one," Smith said, referring to After Earth's third place opening. "You know how many ones it takes to make a three?"
Smith went on to describe the atmosphere when the film's underwhelming numbers started coming in. "You get the [box office] information moment by moment," he explained. "Someone is calling you every hour and I was like, ‘Uh oh.’ I felt like a fighter. It’s been over two decades since I’ve had a movie that wasn’t at number one."
Even the generation's biggest star can have a flop once in a while, and with over a dozen projects in development, we're sure Smith will take back that crown soon.
Next week, Zack Snyder's Superman reboot Man of Steel is expected to soar to the top of the box office, knocking all other films down to earth. Plus, the comedian-heavy This Is the End, starring James Franco and Craig Robinson along with several other stars, will take a chance on audiences averse to blockbuster fare.
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