Box office: America lined up to watch Hugh Jackman torture Paul Dano

Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello are really happy you all saw "Prisoners" this weekend. Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello are really happy you all saw “Prisoners” this weekend.
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

“Prisoners,” a dark thriller starring Hugh Jackman as a father on a desperate search for his missing daughter, locked up the weekend box office title in the United States and Canada, grabbing $21.4 million in ticket sales during its first three days in theaters.

Last weekend’s leader, the low-budget horror film “Insidious: Chapter 2,” dropped to second place with $14.5 million, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

The dance movie “Battle of the Year” made its debut in the No. 5 slot with $5 million, topped by both mob comedy “The Family” with $7 million and Spanish language hit “Instructions Not Included” with $5.7 million.

Box office watchers projected “Prisoners” would start with a $20 million weekend. The movie earned strong reviews from critics and early Oscar buzz after a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival this month. As of Saturday, 79 percent of critics recommended “Prisoners,” according to reviews collected on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

“It’s a very gratifying result,” said Broderick Johnson, co-founder and co-CEO of Alcon Entertainment and a producer of the film, noting that the thriller was “not an easy, straight-forward film” and was more akin to “a non-conventional indie (independent film).”

Johnson said “Prisoners” was “a bit of a water cooler film, with people discussing its twists and turns. It generates conversations, which should generate even more interest in it.”

The movie is the story of the search for two girls who are kidnapped on Thanksgiving Day. One of their fathers, a Pennsylvania survivalist played by Jackman, grows frustrated with the police investigation and employs his own methods to find out what happened.

The movie was produced for $46 million by Alcon Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc.

Ticket sales for “Insidious: Chapter 2,” about a family haunted by spirits, dropped 64 percent from its debut a week earlier. The $5 million production has grossed a cumulative $60.9 million through Sunday.

The 3D “Battle of the Year” cost $20 million to make. The film stars “Lost” TV show actor Josh Holloway as the coach of a team competing in an international breakdancing competition. R&B singer Chris Brown plays one of the dancers.

Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures’ worldwide president of distribution, said that while the picture performed “toward the lower end of our expectations, it was always laid out as a film that would resonate around the world.” It is scheduled for an international roll out starting in late September and going into November.

The Robert De Niro comedy “The Family,” about a mobster who relocates his family to France, finished in the No. 3 spot on the weekend charts, while the hit Mexican family film “Instructions Not Included” was fourth, with ticket sales up 17 percent in its fourth weekend in release for a cumulative box office total of $34.3 million.

“Prisoners” was distributed by Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc. FilmDistrict released “Insidious: Chapter 2.” Sony Corp’s movie studio released “Battle of the Year.” “The Family” was distributed by Relativity Media, and “Instructions Not Included” was distributed by Pantelion, a joint venture of Hollywood studio Lions Gate Entertainment and Mexican media giant Televisa.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

Movies

Interview: Elisabeth Moss on not talking about the…

Elisabeth Moss talks about how it's best if you don't know the opening twist in "The One I Love" and giving up Peggy Olson after nine years of "Mad Men."

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.