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How indie hits The Conjuring and The Purge helped Hollywood hit global record in 2013

The Conjuring

Story by Jack Foley

WHILE blockbusters Iron Man 3 and Despicable Me 2 may have been the two most profitable films of 2013 globally, Hollywood’s record-breaking 2013 owed more than was immediately obvious to the success of smaller films.

The summer of 2013 was notable for some high-profile flops, such as Disney’s The Lone Ranger and White House Down. But while several big titles under-performed, leading to multi-million write-offs, some independent and more modestly budgeted movies more than made up for the shortfall.

Horror hit The Conjuring, for example, was a massive profit generator, costing just $20 million to make, but raking in $316.7 million worldwide, while another horror film, Insidious Chapter 2, also starring Patrick Wilson, hit $160 million worldwide from a $5 million production tag.

A third horror, the Guillermo Del Toro produced Mama, starring Jessica Chastain and costing $15 million to make, earned $146.4 million, while horror-thriller The Purge, starring Ethan Hawke, took in $89.3 million from a $3 million production budget.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler was another standout, costing under $35 million to make and grossing $162 million worldwide.

While ensemble comedy We’re The Millers – featuring Jennifer Aniston – grossed a surprise $269.2 million globally after costing $37 million to make.

The collective performance of these smaller films helped to ensure that the US box office raked in $10.9 billion in revenue for the calendar year, beating last year’s $10.8 billion by one per cent. Although it is also worthwhile noting that attendance levels were slightly down, thanks to higher ticket prices!

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