The Purge movie

Ethan Hawke’s suspense thriller, The Purge, topped the weekend box office with a strong opening that actually doubled expectations.┬áThe film opened with a strong $36.4 million debut, minting another box-office hit for Paranormal Activity producer Jason Blum.

“Never did we expect it to open at this level,” Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal, told the Associated Press. “This result could not have been forecasted by anybody.”

Written and directed by James DeMonaco, The Purge is set in a utopic United States in the year 2022, where crime has been eradicated, except for one violently cathartic day a year, when nearly all mayhem is legal.

Last weekend’s top movie, Fast & Furious 6, cooled down a bit in its third weekend, falling to #2 with just $19.7 million. However, it’s domestic take has already hit $202.9 million.

Now You See Me fell one spot to #3 this weekend with $19.5 million to bring its total to $61.3 million, while the animated Epic holds at #5 with $12.1 million with a total of $84.1 million in three weekends.

The Google-promoting comedy, The Internship opened with $18.1 million. It in, Wedding Crashers stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as salesmen who talk their way into an internship at Google.

That’s a wrap for this weekend. This upcoming week, look out for the release of the new Superman film, Man of Steel; and the apocalyptic comedy, This Is The End, dropping Wednesday (June 12).

This weekend’s top 10 is as follows:

1. “The Purge,” $36.4 million.
2. “Fast & Furious 6,” $19.8 million.
3. “Now You See Me,” $19.5 million.
4. “The Internship,” $18.1 million.
5. “Epic,” $12.1 million..
6. “Star Trek Into Darkness,” $11.7 million.
7. “After Earth,” $11.2 million.
8. “The Hangover Part III,” $7.4 million.
9. “Iron Man 3,” $5.8 million.
10. “The Great Gatsby,” $4.2 million.