New York - The suspense thriller The Purge topped the weekend box office with a shocking $36.4m, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
The Universal film starring Ethan Hawke nearly doubled industry expectations, as audiences flocked to the lone horror option in the marketplace. Its strong opening performance minted another box-office hit for Paranormal Activity producer Jason Blum.
The Google-promoting comedy The Internship opened with $18.1m, a decent debut for Fox's Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn comedy.
But that was good enough only for fourth place, as Universal's Fast & Furious 6 earned $19.8m in its third week of release. And the magician movie Now You See Me also held strong in its second week, earning $19.5m for Lionsgate.