Ethan Hawke’s ‘The Purge’ Tops Friday Box Office With $16.7M

The weekend’s not over yet, but Ethan Hawke’s new thriller is in pretty good shape to take top spot.

The Purge grossed some $16.7 million on opening day Friday, beating fellow newcomer The Internship ($6.6 million), starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Directed by James DeMonaco, The Purge finds its leads (Hawke and Game of ThronesLena Headey) in the not too distant future. It’s also a time when the U.S. government holds an annual “Purge” session to balance out the society. Nearly all crime becomes legal and pretty much all hell breaks loose.

“I have a secret fantasy of being an environmental terrorist — like when I see these oil spills and all these dead fish and the chopping down of forests. I’d love to slip just a little dynamite in somewhere. That would be where my inner demon lurks,” Hawke recently told Grantland when asked what he would do in a real life “Purge.”