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Prisoners tops US box office with $21.4 million


Story by Jack Foley

DARK crime thriller Prisoners has topped the US box office with a healthy $21.4 million.

The film stars Hugh Jackman as a father forced to resort to desperate measures by kidnapping the lead suspect in the abduction of his daughter. It is directed by Denis Villeneuve and co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal as the cop also trying to solve the abduction.

The thriller has garnered top reviews and generated Oscar buzz despite some gritty content involving murder and torture.

Andrew Kosove, of financier and producer Alcon Entertainment, commented: “It’s very gratifying to see movies do well that aren’t straight-down-the-middle studio fare. And to have this film succeed bodes well for having more diverse product come out of the major studios.”

While Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution, said: “We’re in terrific company among other fall dramsa, particularly considering the film’s running length of 130 minutes. Argo opened to $19.5 million, Looper did $20.8 while Moneyball also opened $19.5 million.”

Prisoners made its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival this month before heading to the Toronto Film Festival. It opens in the UK this Friday.

In second place was last week’s box office champ, Insidious Chapter 2, which fell 64% in its second weekend, with $14.5 million. Its 10 day US total now stands at a highly profitable $60.9 million.

Luc Besson’s dark mob comedy The Family, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, took $7 million to place third, while Spanish-language hit Instructions Not Included took $5.7 million for fourth.

That left Chris Brown 3D dance movie Battle of the Year, the weekend’s other big new release, to languish in fifth spot with a soft $5 million. The film, directed by Benson Lee, co-stars Josh Holloway, Laz Alonso, Josh Peck and Caity Lotz and is based on Lee’s own documentary about break dancing.

At the speciality box office, Nicole Holofcener’s romantic comedy Enough Said, starring the late James Gandolfini opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus, opened to strong results, as did Ron Howard’s well-reviewed Formula One drama Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl, which is opting for word of mouth success over a big rollout release.

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