Last year, one of the biggest box office surprises was the movie The Purge. The alternative future/home invasion horror movie grossed $89.3 million worldwide on a budget of a mere $3 million. Despite mixed reviews, Universal Studios greenlit a sequel immediately. Considering Blumhouse Productions, the production company behind The Purge, is known for keeping their movie budgets low and their turnaround quick, it’s not surprising that the sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, was due in theaters just a year later, in summer 2014. It was supposed to come out this June, but Universal decided to push it back another month.
Deadline reports that the Purge: Anarchy will now hit theaters on July 18 instead of June 20. While the studio didn’t say why they’re moving the film, it’s likely thought it might find a bigger box office in July. Anarchy was supposed to open against Think Like a Man Too, the highly anticipated sequel for the equally highly successful 2012 film starring Kevin Hart, who has been killing it in Hollywood lately with movies such as Ride Along and About Last Night. The Purge sequel was also supposed to open against Jersey Boys, the Clint Eastwood-directed film adaptation of the popular Tony-Award winning Broadway musical.
With a new release date for July 18, The Purge: Anarchy will face off against Jupiter Ascending, which looks like it might be another box office failure for the Wachowskis. The film is also getting some bad press with rumors that the Wachowskis are returning to The Matrix film series with a new trilogy. Anarchy will now open against Disney Toons’ Planes: Fire and Rescue, which might win the box office that weekend.
Anyway you slice it, The Purge: Anarchy is already a profitable film for Universal and Blumhouse. Not including the film’s marketing, its budget was only $3 million. Even if it makes half of what the first movie made, that would still be $44.5 million, which is successful and then some.
A few weeks ago, Universal released the first teaser trailer for the sequel. While the original was smaller and more intimate, with most the film taking place in one location, the sequel film looks to open up the world of The Purge to the mean streets of Los Angeles. It also seems that Anarchy will take place at the same time as the first film. So I guess in that way, it’s not a sequel or prequel, but rather an equal.
The Purge took place in a dystopian alternate reality where all crime is declared legal during a 12-hour period once per year. This gives American citizens the opportunity to kill, murder, and rape others with impunity. The annual “Purge” also keeps unemployment and poverty at an all-time low because the wealthy can afford security and protection, while the very poor are left unarmed and vulnerable.
The cast of The Purge: Anarchy includes Frank Grillo, Zach Gilford, Michael K. Williams, Carmen Ejogo, Kiele Sanchez, Keith Stanfied, Chad Morgan, and Zoe Borde. Michael Bay and Jason Blum produced the sequel, while James DeMonaco wrote and directed the new film.
The Purge: Anarchy will now hit theaters everywhere on July 18.