‘Insidious’ sequel scares up box-office success

LOS ANGELES — Moviegoers had an appetite for fright this weekend, sending “Insidious: Chapter 2” to the top of the box office.

The haunted-house horror sequel debuted in first place with $41 million, more than tripling the opening take of the 2010 original.

Debuting on Friday the 13th, FilmDistrict’s “Insidious: Chapter 2” scored the highest September opening day ever, said box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com.

Another newcomer, Relativity Media’s Robert De Niro-Michelle Pfeiffer crime caper “The Family,” opened in second place with $14.5 million. That bumped last week’s champ, “Riddick,” to third.

The Weinstein Co.’s “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” continued its strong performance with a fourth-place finish that saw North American ticket sales cross the $100 million mark.

The Jennifer Aniston-Jason Sudeikis Warner Bros. road-trip comedy “We’re the Millers” rounded out the top five.

Actor Connolly treated for prostate cancer

LONDON — Representatives of Scottish actor Billy Connolly say he has had surgery for the early stages of prostate cancer and is also receiving treatment for the initial symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The statement says the 70-year-old star is “fully recovered” from prostate surgery in the United States.

He is expected to continue his film and TV work, which has recently included a role in “The Hobbit” films.

Connolly started his showbusiness career as a folk singer and later made his reputation as a stand-up comic.

His role in the 1997 film “Mrs. Brown” opposite Judi Dench brought international recognition.

J.K. Rowling to pen new magical movie

LONDON — J.K. Rowling’s world of wizardry is coming back to the big screen, but without Harry Potter.

Studio Warner Bros. announced that Rowling will write the screenplay for a movie based on “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” her textbook about the magical universe she created in the Potter stories.

The story will focus on the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander, and is anticipated to be the first in a series.

Rowling said in a statement the movie “is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.”

She said the story would begin in New York 70 years before the start of Harry Potter’s tale.

Associated Press