Saw duo’s new film, Insidious, posts strong opening weekend at US box office

James Wan and Leigh Whannell's new horror film, Insidious, has posted a strong opening weekend at the US box office.

The independent horror film from the Australian duo behind the record-breaking Saw franchise grossed almost $US13.5 million across 2408 theatres. Wan today confirmed on Twitter that the film's production budget was just $US800,000.

"Filmdistrict/Sony are super happy considering the film cost less than a mil to make," Wan said.

Icon has picked up distribution rights in Australia, where the film is set to be released on May 12.

The two filmmakers first came to prominence in 2004 with the release of Saw, which grossed more than $US103 million worldwide and spawned several sequels.

While their 2007 horror Dead Silence failed to make back its $US20 million production budget (grossing just $US16.8 million in the US), Insidious marks a return to their independent, low-budget roots.

The film follows Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) – when tragedy strikes their young son, they begin to experience things that science cannot explain.

Meanwhile at the Australian box office, Sony Pictures' comedy Just Go With It opened in first place after grossing $2.35 million across 311 screens. It also posted the highest screen average over the weekend with $7557.

It was followed by Roadshow's new thriller The Lincoln Lawyer ($1.16 million) and Paramount's animated Rango ($1.05 million), which has now grossed more than $9 million after four weeks.

Hopscotch's Barney's Version maintained top spot among limited releases, grossing $207,261 (across 34 screens) in its second weekend – a drop of just 10 per cent. It was followed by Madman's Biutiful, which grossed $66,282 across 12 screens in its second weekend.

Among Australian films, only The Reef and Griff the Invisible are still being shown on local screens, both nearing the end of their cinematic run.  

Australian Films at the Local Box Office 2011

Source: MPDAA, IF magazine