- Insidious box office: James Wan’s tiny-budget supernatural horror thriller will likely turn out a not-insignificant profit. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star.
Insidious box office: Starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, James Wan’s low-budget supernatural horror thriller likely to generate sizable profits
April 1–3 weekend box office (cont.): Trailing both Universal Pictures’ live-action/animated fantasy adventure Hop and, by a small margin, Summit Entertainment’s sci-fi thriller Source Code, FilmDistrict’s Poltergeist-ish supernatural horror thriller Insidious was the no. 3 title on the North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office chart, earning $13.3 million from 2,408 locations according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
Per-theater average: A no-more-than-acceptable $5,511.
So, is Insidious a commercial disappointment then?
Not at all. In fact, if reports are accurate, Insidious, which premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, cost a mere $800,000–$1.5 million to produce. That means this latest tiny-budget horror thriller has the potential to become hugely profitable.
Just bear in mind that Insidious’ marketing and distribution expenses possibly added millions to its overall budget. Paranormal Activity 2, for instance, cost very little to make but very much to market.
In other words, we don’t know yet just how profitable Insidious will be.
Astral plane demons
Produced by Oren Peli (the director of the 2007 sleeper hit Paranormal Activity), and directed by James Wan, Insidious chronicles the otherworldly travails of the Lambert couple (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne), whose young son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), becomes possessed by astral plane demons.
Lin Shaye plays the psychic attempting to help out the family, while veteran Oscar nominee Barbara Hershey (The Portrait of a Lady, 1996) is the grandmother who, having previously experienced demonic attacks in Sidney J. Furie’s The Entity (1982), has hair-raising dreams and visions of her own.
Among Rotten Tomatoes’ “top critics,” Insidious has a mediocre 56 percent approval rating.
In all probability, hugely profitable global take
Update: James Wan’s Insidious ultimately collected $54 million domestically and $45.5 million internationally. Worldwide total: $99.6 million.
A 2022 rerelease in Australia added another $549,000. Updated worldwide total: $100.1 million, making the supernatural horror thriller a solidly profitable venture even if the amount spent on marketing and distributing it was 20–30 times its reported production budget.
Insidious’ top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($11.5 million), Spain ($7.7 million), France ($4.2 million), Russia/CIS ($3.9 million), and Mexico ($3.5 million).
Rounding out the weekend’s Top Five movies
Lastly, trailing Hop, Source Code, and Insidious on this past weekend’s domestic box office chart were:
- At no. 4, David Bowers’ comedy Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules grossed $10 million (down an alarming 58 percent on its second weekend). Cume: $38.2 million. Cast: Zachary Gordon and Devon Bostick.
- At no. 5, Neil Burger’s thriller Limitless grossed $9.3 million (down 38 percent on its third weekend). Cume: $55.5 million. Cast: Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro.
”Insidious Box Office: Devilishly Profitable Horror Thriller” notes
Unless otherwise noted, “Insidious Box Office: Devilishly Profitable Horror Thriller” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about Insidious and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne Insidious movie image: FilmDistrict.
“Insidious Box Office: Devilishly Profitable Horror Thriller” last updated in October 2023.