Vicky Roach, The Daily Telegraph, reports
Insidious: Chapter 2 topped the US box office over the weekend, earning Australian director James Wan a place in the history books.
Opening on Friday the 13th, the horror sequel took an impressive $US41 million, scaring the pants off its nearest competitor (The Family, with Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, with an estimated tally of $US15 million).
Wan's The Conjuring also upset industry expectations when it took $US41.9 million in its July opening weekend.
This makes the Saw co-creator only the second director ever to have two films opening with more than $US40 million in the same year, according to the respected US site Box Office Mojo.
The Wachowski brothers managed a similar feat in 2003 with The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, but there were two of them.
Starring Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson, Insidious 2 tripled its 2010 predecessor's $US13.3 million opening.
The horror sequel, which reportedly had a budget of $US5 million, releases in Australia on November 7.
Wan is currently in Atlanta filming Fast and Furious 7, the next instalment in the hugely successful high-octane action franchise staring Vin Diesel and Jason Statham.
He and Saw co-creator Leigh Whannell attended RMIT together in Melbourne.
The long-time collaborators (Whannell wrote the screenplay for Insidious 2) initially tried to make their breakthrough 2004 film in Australia.
"We really gave it a shot - we spent a year to two years trying to get financing for Saw in Australia and we just couldn't get it off the ground,'' he recalled in an interview with News Corp Australia in July.
The low-budget horror film went on to spawn a hugely successful franchise that has more than $US873 million at the box office worldwide.
Malaysian-born Wan admits to having a healthy respect for the supernatural.
"I was raised with a pretty strict Christian upbringing but coming from an Asian background as well I grew up with a lot of ghost stories and superstition. So from a very young age I was subjected to this world and very much fascinated by it."
Whannell recently collaborated with Angus Samson on Australian crime thriller The Mule, starring Hugo Weaving,
Wan told News Corp Australia that he, too, was keen to return to Australia to work.
"I would love to take a project back to Melbourne. All my family is in Perth so they have been wanting me to shoot something in Western Australia.
"I have been talking to Vin Diesel quite a bit recently and we were talking about Coober Pedy where he shot Pitch Black."