LOS ANGELES -- Moviegoers had an appetite for fright this weekend, sending Insidious: Chapter 2 to the top of the U.S. box office.
The haunted-house horror sequel debuted in first place with $41 million, more than tripling the opening take of the 2010 original.
Debuting on Friday the 13th, it scored the highest September opening day ever, said box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com.
"It was a perfect release date for this movie," he said. "James Wan has cracked the code on making great horror movies."
The Australian director had another first-place opener earlier this summer with The Conjuring, another haunted-house thriller starring Patrick Wilson. In Insidious: Chapter 2, Wilson plays a husband and father with some scary personal baggage.
FilmDistrict's president of distribution, Jim Orr, said the film's ticket sales nearly doubled studio expectations.
Another newcomer, the Robert De Niro-Michelle Pfeiffer crime caper The Family, opened in second place with $14.5 million. That bumped last week's champ, Riddick, to third.
-- The Associated Press