You might say that Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal took no prisoners over the weekend.
The pair abducted an estimated $21.4 million from moviegoers, pushing their gritty crime thriller Prisoners to the top of the box office heap. No matter that the movie pushed two-and-a-half hours, or that its themes weren’t exactly the stuff of light September escapism. Audiences were apparently in the mood for something a little heavier.
‘Course, it didn’t hurt that it had very little competition. In a rather dead weekend at the local multiplex, Prisoners was about as lively as things got.
For proof, all you need to do is take an anxious gander at Insidious Chapter 2. The PG-13 fright-flick suffered from a mild case of rigor mortis this weekend (it lost 64% of its audience) and still managed to breeze to a second-place finish. Insidious Chapter 2 earned $14.5 million, more than double the take of The Family, which had to cool its cement galoshes in third.
Instructions Not Included, the durable Spanish-speaking phenomenon, continued to show that it really doesn’t need instructions, at least not on how to make money. After a week outside the Top 5, Instructions increased its weekend gross to $5.7 million to land in fourth place. According to Box office Mojo, it’s earned $34.3 million and is now the fifth most lucrative foreign-language flick ever—just a hair behind Pan’s Labyrinth.
Besides Prisoners, Battle of the Year (featuring Chris Brown on his ongoing redemption tour) was the only other wide release. But the breakdancing flick couldn’t find its groove and earned just $5 million.
Final figures update: 1. Prisoners, $20.8 million; 2. Insidious Chapter 2, $13.8 million; 3. The Family, $7 million; 4. Instructions Not Included, $5.4 million, 5. Battle of the Year, $4.6 million.