*UPDATE* Jason Blum confirmed via Twitter the sequel is in development... Original story below:
The Purge sliced and diced its way through the competition this past weekend, exceeding all expectations to earn an estimated $36.4 million at the box office, good enough for first place. The latest in a series of trendy micro-budget horror fare (following Paranormal Activity, The Last Exorcism, Insidious, The Devil Inside, Sinister, etc.), the home invasion flick reportedly cost only $3 million to make (although you have to wonder what sort of creative math was involved) and has thus already made a tidy profit. If the estimated total stands, it will be the biggest debut ever for a non-sequel, non-remake R-rated horror movie, beating The Devil Inside's $33.7 million.
Even before the numbers came in, though, producer Jason Blum and company were apparently already thinking about a sequel. Last week, Deadline reported that Purge 2 was one of the 31 film and television productions that won a piece of the $100 million in film tax credits that California offers annually in lottery format as incentive to lure productions to the state. I would say that the big question now is what the plot for the sequel will be, but a bigger question is why a movie from such high-profile producers that will presumably cost in the $5 million range would need help with funding. One thing's for certain: the lottery winnings plus the record opening for The Purge would seem to make a sequel a sure thing.