“The Devil Inside” is off to a scary-good start at the box office. Paramount’s R-rated horror film grossed $2 million at 1,400 locations at midnight showings Thursday night. With that take, “The Devil Inside” has already doubled its production budget of $1 million — and is now in good position to claim the #1 spot at the weekend box office. The results are even more impressive when compared with last month’s opening-night performance of “Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows.” The Warner Bros. movie, which had a production budget of $125 million, opened with $1.25 million at 1,650 midnight shows December 15. Paramount has been heavily promoting “The Devil Inside.” The studio has estimated that the movie — which has a 7 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes — will make $8 million in box-office receipts. Rival studio estimates, however, have the film opening at between $12 million and $16 million. BoxOffice.com predicts it could take in as much as $23 million.

“The Devil Inside,” the only new movie opening in wide release this weekend, is about a woman whose mother has brutally killed three people. Twenty years later, she travels to Italy, where her mother has been committed to a hospital for the criminally insane. 

There, the young woman convinces two young exorcists to cure her mother — but they find four powerful demons.                           –TW