'The Purge' Startles, Cleans Out Box Office

Universal Pictures

The Purge
frightened not only its audiences over the weekend but movie experts as well, as the horror-thriller film cleaned out the box office with a substantial opening of an estimated $36.4 million domestic.

The film, starring Training Day's Ethan Hawke and Game of Thrones' Lena Headey, flushed the comedy The Internship, which pulled in only $18.1 million despite high expectations for Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson's first film together since their successful 2005 comedy Wedding Crashers.

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The Internship
was surpassed by both action film Fast & Furious 6 (2nd: $19.8 million, $203 million) and the magic thriller Now You See Me (3rd: $19.5 million, $61.4 million), which are in their third and second weeks of release, respectively.

As The Internship opened with meager numbers, major milestones were passed and encroached upon for other films this weekend.

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After four weeks of release, Star Trek Into Darkness (6th: $11.7 million, $200.1 million) crossed the $200-million mark; The Hangover Part III (8th: $7.4 million, $102.4 million) entered the nine-digit club in its third week of release; and Iron Man 3 (9th: $5.8 million, $394.3) infringed upon a whopping $400 million domestic after six weeks.

With a nearly $1.2 billion worldwide gross total, Iron Man 3, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, is the fifth-highest grossing film of all time, still slotted behind Harry Potter and the Death Hallows: Part 2 ($1.34 billion, 2011).