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Universal and Jason Blum‘s microbudgeted thriller The Purge will likely get the last laugh over The Internship, the event comedy film reuniting Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson for the first time since The Wedding Crashers.
Early Friday returns show The Purge, starring Ethan Hawke and Game of Thrones‘ Lena Headey, soaring to a $12 million-to-$16 million Friday for a weekend opening in the $30 million range, give or take.
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Directed by Shawn Levy, The Internship is head toward a sobering debut in the $17 million range, a blow for 20th Century Fox and New Regency, along with Levy and Vaughn, who together produced the $58 million movie. The film, performing slightly better than expected, is on course for a $6 million Friday.
Many reviewers have skewered The Internship — starring Vaughn and Wilson as washed-up salesmen who become interns at Google — for being an advertisement for the giant tech company.
From writer-director James DeMonaco, The Purge — which has already made its budget back — is set in a future where one night a year all crime is legal.
The Purge is the first title to be released through Universal’s partnership with Jason Blum, the producer behind the Paranormal Activity franchise and Insidious. Blum produced The Purge with Michael Bay, Sebastien K. LeMercier and Bay’s colleagues at Platinum Dunes, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller.
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