In its first night of release, Universal Pictures' micro-budgeted thriller "The Purge" starring Ethan Hawke earned back its $3 million production budget.
Nabbing an estimated $3.4 million from its late night and midnight shows (the film bowed at 10 p.m. Thursday night), the film from "Paranormal Activity" producer Jason Blum is expected to earn as much as $20 million by the end of Sunday.
It's an impressive haul, and far better than the Vince Vaughn-Owen Wilson buddy comedy "The Internship," which took in only $800,000 in its first night of release. The PG-13 rated comedy will likely come in second to "The Purge" in the weekend derby, if it can beat out "Fast & Furious 6," now in its third week of release.
The conceit of the R-rated "The Purge," which also stars "Game of Thrones" actress Lena Headey, is surely luring in audiences. (It can't be the reviews, which have generated a 42% rotten on Rotten Tomatoes.)
Set in the future, the film depicts a world where for one night a year, all crime is legal. The film follows one family over the course of the night when their home is broken into.
From writer-director James DeMonaco, the film was shot in just 20 days in Chatsworth. It marks the latest entry from Blum, the producer who has become known for turning low-budget horror films into mass-market successes.
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