The horror genre has been in a bit of a renaissance right now. Rather than stale slashers or torture porn, there are new and exciting works being produced, and making a ton of money at the box office. One of the new classic franchises is The Purge, which combines tense action sequences with thinly veiled political messages. After three consecutive movies, the property is now going backward in time with The First Purge, revealing how the annual murder-fest came to be developed and tested in the country. The First Purge is the fourth installment in the franchise, and the pressure is on for it to deliver at the box office, and hopefully herald in another sequel.
Ultimately The First Purge didn't fare quite as well as its predecessors, likely because the overall concept is less frightening the more it's explored. Deadline's estimate for the horror flick's opening weekend comes in at $9.4 million, taking the third place spot at the box office. This isn't an ideal result, especially considering it's a holiday weekend, and The First Purge opened on Wednesday in order to get ahead of the competition.
Despite extra days in theaters and a holiday weekend, The First Purge is set for the worst opening of the franchise. The original film had the strongest showing with an impressive $16.8 million back in 2013. That was followed up with Anarchy's $13M, and Election Year's $14.5M.
While The First Purge failed to make as much money at the start of its run, it's still on its way to recouping its investment, and hopefully making a profit. The horror genre is so profitable because it requires small budgets, like The First Purge's $13 million. So while the new prequel isn't quite as successful as the first few films, it still has a chance to make the studio money, and therefore keep the franchise alive.
Aside from The First Purge, the property is also working on its transition over to the small screen. The Purge will debut on USA in the fall, with the new series first trailer hitting the web just a few days ago. While it was originally set to focus on the other 364 days of the year, the first footage of the ten episode miniseries is full of chaos, and set on Purge Night itself.
Most classic horror franchises like Friday the 13th show no signs of returning, but the new classics have grown to become cinematic universes of their own. This includes The Purge, The Conjuring, and Split. And with Blumhouse's iconic dystopian franchise also coming to the small screen, there's no telling where The Purge might go next.
The First Purge is in theaters now, and USA's The Purge will debut September 4th, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.