Which films make the most money?

September's figures are out.

The past month saw a number of new releases on the worldwide cinema scene. "Insidious 2", from "Saw" director and creator James Wan was the top release of the month, grossing over US$82m worldwide and US$70 m in North America alone. Foreign box office receipts for the film should increase substantially going forward as it is yet to be released in a number of major locations. These figures are already impressive considering the film was made off a budget of only US$5 million.

It has been a strong year for Wan. His last release "The Conjuring" topped box office charts in July and has grossed over US$297 million to date worldwide off a budget of only US$20 million.

The second biggest release in September was "Prisoners" starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Since its 20 September release the film has grossed US$46m worldwide including US$40m in North America alone.

Vin Diesel much awaited "Pitch Black" and "Chronicles of Riddick" sequel, "Riddick" opened on the 6th September and has grossed US$85m to date worldwide. This is a relatively healthy considering it was made off a budget of only US$3m. We expect the film to end off at around US$130m total worldwide gross.

Other major September releases included "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2", "The Family" and "Rush". "Rush" tells the true story of the Formula1 rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda and has received strong reviews on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.  Since its 20 September release it has grossed just over US$25m worldwide.

For October, international audiences can look forward to the release of:

  • "Gravity", a space drama starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
  • "Captain Phillips", from "Green Zone" director, Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks. The film is based on the true story of merchant mariner Richard Phillips, who was taken hostage by Somali Pirates during the Maersk Alabama hijacking in 2009.
  • "Machete Kills", the sequel to the cult hit "Machete". Directed by "Desperado" director Robert Rodriguez, the film stars Hollywood hard man Danny Trejo in the lead role alongside a strong supporting cast featuring Michelle Rodriguez, Charlie Sheen, Jessica Alba and a debut performance from Lady Gaga.
George Clooney. Photograph: Getty Images

Andrew Amoils is a writer for WealthInsight

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.