Box Office Preview: 'Insidious 2' Set to Clobber Luc Besson's Star-Studded 'The Family'

TORONTO – Horror is expected to make another strong showing at the U.S. box office this weekend as James Wan's Insidious 2 launches on Friday the 13th.

From FilmDistrict, the follow-up is expected to open in the $22 million to $25 million range, easily outpacing Luc Besson's star-studded mob comedy The Family, whose cast is led by Tommy Lee Jones, Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer. The Family is expected to open in the $11 million to $15 million range, although more conservative box office observers believe it won't get past $13 million.

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Insidious 2, produced by horror masters Jason Blum and Oren Peli, returns Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne in the title roles and should have no trouble winning the weekend race. The sequel opens more than two years after the original Insidious turned into a sleeper hit, opening to $13.3 million on its way to grossing north of $54 million domestically and $43 million internationally.

The first film cost a scant $1.5 million to make, while the sequel cost a modest $5 million. IM Global handled both films internationally, and co-produced with Blumhouse and Entertainment One.

From a script by Leigh Whannell, Insidious 2 follows the Lambert family as they seek to understand the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world. Lin Shaye and Ty Simpkins also star.

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Executive producers are Steven Schneider, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Charles Layton, Peter Schlessel, Lia Buman and Xavier Marchand.

FilmDistrict is targeting younger moviegoers, focusing on females and Hispanics. It hosted a number of fan events and conducted a grassroots campaign at Comic-Con, among numerous other promotions.

The Family, billed as a dark, subversive comedy and based on Tonino Benacquista's novel, follows Mafia boss Fred Blake (De Niro), who enters the Witness Protection program with his family after snitching on the mob. The family, however, can't help but get into trouble after being relocated to a sleepy town in France, despite the best efforts of a government agent (Jones) to keep them in line. Dianna Argon and John D'Leo also star.

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Relativity Media and Besson's EuropaCorp financed and produced The Family for $30 million, with Besson directing from an adapted script he co-wrote with Michael Caleo (The Sopranos, Rescue Me). The movie will need adults to prosper, but could be hurt by poor reviews.

Relativity is distributing The Family in the U.S.; Entertainment One is releasing in Canada.

The specialty box office sees the debut of several high-profile titles, including Haifaa Al Mansour's critically acclaimed Wadjda, the first film to be shot entirely within Saudi Arabia, as well as the first feature directed by a Saudi woman. Released by Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S., Wadjda tells the story of a 11-year-old girl who dreams of buying a green bicycle she passes in a store every day on her way to a school.

Also open in limited runs are Andrew Dosunmu's Mother of George, about Nigerian immigrants living in Brooklyn and starring Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), and Alexandre Moors' Blue Caprice, recounting the real-life sniper attacks in Washington, D.C., in 2002.

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