By Bill Wine
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The weekend produced a surprise box office winner.
Moviegoers splurged on The Purge.
It’s a futuristic horror thriller about legalized crime starring Ethan Hawke.
The Purge was the surprise box office champ, earning an estimated $36-million on its debut weekend.
That dropped last weekend’s top two ticket sellers, Fast & Furious 6 and Now You See Me, to second and third place with $20-million and $19-million respectively.
The best the weekend’s other new mainstream release could do was fourth.
That was The Internship, the new workplace comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
It totaled $18-million.
Rounding out the top five was the animated attraction, Epic, with $12-million.
Overall, industry-wide totals were below those of a year ago, but with the highly-anticipated Superman thriller, Man of Steel, on next weekend’s horizon, box office returns should be picking up in a hurry.