The fright film “The Devil Inside” has scared up a monstrous $34.5 million opening weekend to help Hollywood exorcise its recent box-office demons.
The surprise hit from Paramount Pictures debuted well above industry expectations as horror fans crowded theaters for the low-budget tale about exorcists trying to free a woman possessed by evil spirits.
Paramount already is well into profit with “The Devil Inside,” an independently produced movie that the studio bought for $1 million. It’s the latest such low-budget horror acquisition for the studio, which bought “Paranormal Activity” cheaply and turned it into a $100 million sensation that was followed by two hit sequels.
“The Devil Inside” bumped another Paramount hit, Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” from the No. 1 spot to No. 2 with $20.5 million.