Prisoners, the suspense thriller starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, was the top-grossing movie at U.S. and Canadian theaters in its debut, with about $21 million in sales for Warner Bros.
Insidious: Chapter 2 fell to second place with about $14 million, Hollywood.com said Sunday. Ron Howard’s Rush opened in limited release.
The R-rated Prisoners, featuring Jackman as a father reacting to his daughter’s kidnapping, generated strong reviews and film-festival buzz in Toronto and Telluride, Colo. With kids back in school and the awards season approaching, Hollywood studios are bringing out films for more mature audiences.
Prisoners was projected to generate $20 million in domestic sales, the estimate of researcher Boxoffice.com. Jackman’s character turns vigilante after police, lacking evidence, let the chief suspect in his daughter’s disappearance go. Gyllenhaal plays the detective keeping tabs on Jackman while investigating the case.
“Jackman gives the best performance of his career,” Los Angeles Times film critic Betsy Sharkey wrote in a review.
“Exciting, terrifying, worrisome stuff saturates every second,” she wrote. “Holding you captive, keeping you guessing until the bitter end.”
Rush, from Universal Pictures, stars Chris Hemsworth as the late Formula One racing legend James Hunt and focuses on the 1976 world championship, which Hunt won in a nail-biting contest with rival Niki Lauda. Director Howard, who won the Oscar for 2001’s A Beautiful Mind, conveys the intensity of the racing and the contrasting personalities of the British playboy Hunt and the studious Austrian Lauda.
Rush, which brought in $200,000 in ticket sales, opened in five theaters and goes into wide release this weekend. It received generally favorable reviews. The movie “distills the thrill of racing into a clash of personalities, one nail-biting faceoff, a catastrophic accident and a wild comeback,” wrote Manohla Dargis in The New York Times.
Also making its debut was the romantic comedy Enough Said, starring James Gandolfini, in one of his last major movie roles, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. They play divorced parents Albert and Eva who hit it off at a party.
“Louis-Dreyfus is endearingly funny as a mess of insecurities, and the late, great Gandolfini was never more supremely tender,” wrote Bloomberg News critic Craig Seligman.
Enough Said, from 20th Century Fox, brought in $240,000 in ticket sales in four cinemas.
Insidious, made for $5 million, has taken in $60 million in two weeks. The horror film, drawing from classics Poltergeist, The Exorcist and The Shining, was projected to bring in $13.5 million last weekend for FilmDistrict Distribution LLC, according to Boxoffice.com, but pulled about $300,000 more.
The Family, a mobster comedy with Robert De Niro, fell from second to third with $7 million. The movie from Relativity Media LLC also stars Michelle Pfeiffer, and was directed by Luc Besson.
In fourth place was Instructions Not Included, bringing in almost $5.4 million and starring Eugenio Derbez and Karla Souza. Columbia Corp.’s Battle of the Year was fifth with $4.6 million in receipts in its debut. The 3-D movie follows an international dance competition and features rapper Chris Brown.
MovieStyle, Pages 32 on 09/27/2013
Print Headline: Prisoners locks up the No. 1 spot