The Devil Inside scares box office

2012-01-09 07:51

Los Angeles - The fright film The Devil Inside has scared up a monstrous $34.5m 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 $1m.

It's the latest such low-budget horror acquisition for the studio, which bought Paranormal Activity cheaply and turned it into a $100m 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 $20.5m.