"Devil Inside" nets $2 million in midnight showings

Fri Jan 6, 2012 5:38pm EST
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By Kurt Orzeck

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - "The Devil Inside" is off to a scary-good start at the box office.

Paramount's R-rated horror film grossed $2 million at 1,400 locations at midnight showings Thursday night. With that take, "The Devil Inside" has already doubled its production budget of $1 million -- and is now in good position to claim the #1 spot at the weekend box office.

The results are even more impressive when compared with last month's opening-night performance of "Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows." The Warner Bros. movie, which had a production budget of $125 million, opened with $1.25 million at 1,650 midnight shows December 15.

Paramount has been heavily promoting "The Devil Inside." The studio has estimated that the movie -- which has a 7 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes -- will make $8 million in box-office receipts. Rival studio estimates, however, have the film opening at between $12 million and $16 million. BoxOffice.com predicts it could take in as much as $23 million.

"The Devil Inside," the only new movie opening in wide release this weekend, is about a woman whose mother has brutally killed three people. Twenty years later, she travels to Italy, where her mother has been committed to a hospital for the criminally insane. There, the young woman convinces two young exorcists to cure her mother -- but they find four powerful demons.

The movie has no established stars and was written by William Brent Bell and Matthew Peterman, with Bell directing and Peterman producing.