Critics point toward a summer full of blockbusters that fail to impress and small films that come out winners. It seems that The Purge series’ latest installment has impressed mightily. Not just in terms of a relevant storyline but also in terms of blockbuster success.
What makes a summer movie a blockbuster? When the cost of production is far less than the amount earned at the box office. The latest numbers show that The Purge: Election Year‘s $10 million production budget raked in a little over $40 million in the first four days of release. Those are good numbers, far better than some other summer films like Independence Day.
It’s hard to place The Purge: Election Year, in the same small category as other, more sensitive small summer films like Approaching the Unknown or Swiss Army Man or Weiner Dogs. Yet, with its limited budget, that’s where it is. But, the film is so much more. It’s part of a successful franchise. The series has a loyal following. The movie is a surprisingly relevant and subversive action-packed thriller.
This is why The Purge: Election Year is such a surprise. It blurs the line between the previously mentioned arthouse-styled films and blockbuster films. Jonathan Kim writes in the Huffington Post that The Purge: Election Year is a “sociopolitical action thriller.” The movie isn’t safe, it isn’t indie, yet it’s a moneymaker.