By Will Ashton
There was one clear winner this week, and it was The Conjuring. The James Wan-helmed horror movie was able to get good word-of-mouth, and earned a $41.5 million opening this weekend.
Now one of the highest R-rated horror movie opening weekends ever, The Conjuring has well surpassed its $20 million budget. In fact, it more than doubled it. This win in the number one spot puts an end to the two-week reign of Despicable Me 2, which opened in second place this weekend with $25 million. Horror movies typically don’t have a lot of legs in the box office race, but The Conjuring shouldn’t have to worry too much about that. So, it looks like that sequel may be happening after all.
This weekend wasn’t too kind to the other new releases, however. Opening in third was the new animated movie Turbo, which couldn’t even beat its three-week old competition, Despicable Me 2. The film earned $21.5 million over the weekend. Because the movie opened on Wednesday, it has earned $31.2 million thus far, but, given its $135 million budget, this one is hurting a bit.
DreamWorks Animation has been struggling a little bit of late with their box office. Rise of the Guardians was a pretty heavy flop for the animation studio, and while they were able to find financial success with The Croods earlier this year, these disappointing numbers prove that things may still not be great for the studio financially. A shame, especially given that their products have been continuing to get solid of late.
Red 2 opened to pretty modest numbers this weekend with an $18.5 million opening. This makes its earnings slightly less than what the original opened with, $21.7 million, in 2010. The problem this time comes that the original was budgeted at $58 million, while the sequel has a budget of $84 million.
Then there’s R.I.P.D. The Ryan Reynolds-Jeff Bridges vehicle hasn’t had the kindest reception before its release, with the studio only hosting critical screenings the Thursday night before its release, its 11 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and the general lack of interest coming from the general public. The result of this negativity made the $130 million dollar production open in seventh place this weekend, earning a mere $12.7 million. Between this and Turbo, poor Ryan Reynolds.
Those expecting Pacific Rim to gain some thunder from word-of-mouth this weekend will be sad to hear that the movie opened in sixth place, earning $15.9 million. The film, domestically, has been able to earn $68.2 million thus far. But, remembering that is budget is $190 million, it still isn’t doing too great. But, hey, it’s still in the top ten this weekend, which is more than The Lone Ranger can say.
Also, in limited release, Only God Forgives opened this weekend in 78 theaters, along with on VOD, and was able to gather up $315,000.
Next week will see the release of The Wolverine, The To Do List and Blue Jasmine. I think it’s safe to say that The Wolverine will be next week’s winner. But, of course, we’ll have to check again next week to find out.