According to recent projections, The First Purge is expected to earn the lowest opening gross at the box office in the entire franchise’s history. Despite the film’s purposefully provocative advertising campaign that pokes fun at the Trump Administration, most notably through its first poster that riffed on Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats, there hasn’t been a great deal of discussion about the film among general audiences. The First Purge is the fourth film in the Purge franchise and, considering the relative lack of hype surrounding the film and low opening gross estimates, it appears to be the least anticipated film of the franchise as well.
The First Purge will serve as a prequel to the other films of the series, The Purge (2013), The Purge: Anarchy (2014), and The Purge: Election Year (2016). This prequel will reveal how the United States came to adopt the Purge, a 12-hour window that occurs each year in the series' futuristic dystopian America in which all crimes are rendered legal. The First Purge takes place on Staten Island and follows main character William (played by Y’lan Noel) as he is forced to navigate the first experimental Purge. The film also stars Marisa Tomei, Lex Scott Davis, and Melonie Diaz and is written and produced by James DeMonaco, writer and director of the first three films. Gerard McMurray (Burning Sands) directs this time out.
According to Variety, The First Purge is projected to come in at an opening of approximately $25 million during its first five days at the box office - the film opens on Wednesday, instead of the usual Friday - this week. Compared to the most recent and successful installment of the franchise, Election Year - which opened to $36 million and ultimately earned $118.5 million in theaters worldwide - this may be a troubling opening figure for Blumhouse Productions and Universal Pictures.
The First Purge will have an even tougher time gaining ground at the box office once Ant-Man & The Wasp rolls into theaters on Friday. Even though Blumhouse and Universal presumably chose its July 4 release date in part to get out ahead of the Marvel blockbuster and try to gain as much money as they could before having to compete with Ant-Man, if these box office projections come true, the earlier release date may not have mattered too much.
However, even if The First Purge doesn’t do too well in theaters and ends up bringing the movie series to a close, there’s no escaping the Purge franchise any time soon. A television spin-off is expected to premiere this September. The show, simply titled The Purge, takes place soon after the first Purge, and is "right in the middle of all the Purge timelines", so those who are curious about the television series may want to head to theaters to catch The First Purge after all.
- The First Purge/The Purge 4 (2018) release date: Jul 04, 2018