Box Office Shocker: 'Insidious 2' Headed For $40 Million-Plus Opening

7:45 AM PST 09/14/2013 by Pamela McClintock

UPDATED: The horror pic has a shot at eclipsing the $42.5 million debut of "Hotel Transylvania" to score the top September opening of all time after earning $20 million on Friday -- the highest single day gross ever for September.

Marking another big win for horror, James Wan's Insidious 2 topped the Friday box office with roughly $20 million in ticket sales, the highest single day gross ever for the month of September and putting the movie on course to cross $40 million in its North American debut.

From FilmDistrict and costing a mere $5 million to make, Insidious 2 even has a shot at becoming the top September opener of all time. Sony's Hotel Transylvania (2012) is the current record-holder ($42.5 million). Insidious 2 also may eclipse the $41.9 million opening of New Line's The Conjuring, which currently boasts the top horror opening of 2013.

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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. It 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.

Both films were co-financed and co-produced by Blum's Blumhouse, Entertainment One (Alliance) and IM Global.

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.

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.

Luc Besson's star-studded dark mob comedy, The Family, is the weekend's other new nationwide offering. The film is expected to open to $15 million after earning $5.4 million on Friday, putting it at No. 2.

With a cast led by Tommy Lee Jones, Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, The Family was produced for $30 million by Relativity Media and Besson's EuropaCorp media. The movie, playing heavily to adults, is likely being hurt by poor reviews and a C CinemaScore from moviegoers. Still, it will represent one of De Niro's best openings outside of the Meet the Fockers franchise.

The Family revolves around 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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