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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘The Conjuring’ Conjures Up a Massive Opening

Warner Bros.

There was a lot of buzz surrounding James Wan’s ‘The Conjuring‘ going into this weekend. “Scariest movie of the year.” “Best horror movie in a long time.” And so on. But it paid off. ‘The Conjuring’ not only won the box office, it won the box office in a way that R-rated horror movies often don’t. Between this and ‘The Purge,’ R-rated horror is officially back in a big way.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Conjuring $41,530,000 $14,306 $41,530,000
2 Despicable Me 2 $25,059,000 (-42.9) $6,560 $276,159,000
3 Turbo $21,500,000 $5,649 $31,203,000
4 Grown Ups 2 $20,000,000 (-51.8) $5,729 $79,500,000
5 Red 2 $18,500,000
$6,134 $18,500,000
6 Pacific Rim $15,955,000 (-57.2) $4,857 $68,235,000
7 R.I.P.D. $12,763,000 $4,475 $12,763,000
8 The Heat $9,325,000 (-33.4) $3,468 $129,292,000
9 World War Z $5,200,000 (-44.2) $2,517 $186,941,000
10 Monsters University $5,005,000 (-52.9) $2,290 $248,998,000

With a $41 million opening on a $20 million budget, ‘The Conjuring’ is already on its way to becoming one of the year’s biggest studio success stories (and it will undoubtedly put the fire under Warner Bros. to get the already proposed sequel off the ground). It’s also proof that an R-rating isn’t the roadblock is used to be. If a movie is scary and good and has audiences leave the theater buzzing, it’s going to open big.

Despicable Me 2‘ fell to second place after reigning on the top for the past two weeks, but there’s no shame in this second place. With a weekend gross of $25 million, the animated film has made $276 million so far, making it second only to ‘Iron Man 3′ in terms of sheer numbers this year. $300 million is a sure thing at this point, but considering the film’s staying power, the sky is the limit.

In third place, one of the weekend’s other new releases opened with a whimper. For many films, $20 million would be solid, but a star-studded, big-budget animated kid’s movie should open bigger. ‘Turbo‘ is no ‘Despicable Me 2.’

In fourth place, Adam Sandler’s ‘Grown Ups 2‘ made $20 million for a $79 million gross. What can we say? People like Adam Sandler. This may not do the business of the first film, but it’s going to break $100 million and that’s all that matters with this kind of comedy.

And then we come to ‘Red 2.’ Is $18 million good? Not really. Is it bad? Not really. The first ‘Red’ opened similarly but had strong legs, hanging around for long enough to become a sleeper hit. If people like ‘Red 2,’ it may linger around and follow a similar pattern … but this is a busy summer with a lot of competition. We’ll see.

So much for second weekend miracles: ‘Pacific Rim‘ took a tumble to $15 million for a $68 million weekend. Guillermo del Toro’s monsters vs robots epic has officially failed to catch on with mainstream audiences. It’ll always have its fans, but in terms of box office, it’s one of 2013′s biggest disappointments.

And then we come to ‘R.I.P.D.,’ the final new release of the weekend. You can blame two things for its pitiful $12 million gross: all of the awful marketing and the fact that audiences simply don’t like Ryan Reynolds. It’ll vanish quietly between now and next week.

And then we come to ‘The Heat,’ ‘World War Z’ and ‘Monsters University,’ all three hits, all three still going surprisingly strong, and all three almost out of the top ten. It’s a very crowded marketplace.

The Wolverine‘ opens next week. It’ll dominate everything else, of course.

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