Box Office Wrap Up: The Horror Film Bests all

The Conjuring, Warner Brothers horror film.
Meeting a grisly demise.

Box Office Wrap up 7/21/2013


Wow, the reign of animated films has ended as the Conjuring takes the top spot this weekend. You may have thought The Conjuring was going to be big, but did you think it was going to have one of the highest grossing openings for an R-rated horror film ever? With $41.5 million this weekend the new James Wan-directed feature is the highest grossing original R-rated horror of all-time


The win for The Conjuring put an end to the four week reign animated sequels have had on the box office, but it’s not like Despicable Me 2 slowed down any. Bringing in another $25 million this weekend, the sequel is now up to $276 million domestically and managed to outgross the weekend’s incoming animated flick, Turbo.

After opening rather weak on Wednesday, Turbo is just an ill-timed release having Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 eating up the family dollar for the last month. As a result, the film had one of the worst debuts for a Dreamworks Animated feature ever with $21.5 million over the weekend and only $31.2 million total since Wednesday.

Of course, opening box office isn’t a sign of quality as Dreamworks’ Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit opened with only $16 million back in 2005 and Chicken Run with only $17.5 million back in 2000, but still, that’s just a matter of trying to make someone feel better as that is a bad start for a film budgeted at $135 million. But who knows? Maybe the “A” CinemaScore it received will give it some legs? Is snail racing big overseas? It did make $22.6 million abroad this weekend from 28 markets.

Next up is Red 2, which had a solid “B+” CinemaScore, just slightly lower than the 2010 original’s “A-” and its opening weekend numbers followed suit. Red opened with $21.7 million in 2010 while Red 2 brought in $18.5 million this weekend. The big difference is the first film was budgeted at only $58 million while the sequel cost a reported $84 million. The original had some long legs, but I don’t see the same luck for the sequel.

Finally, it was a sad state of affairs for R.I.P.D. as the aptly titled feature opens itself up for the most obvious of D.O.A. jokes, opening at merely $12.7 million. It’s not a good weekend to be Ryan Reynolds as his latest bid at a comic book adaptation bombs and his voice didn’t bring any added dollars to Turbo. Has Reynolds now stolen Taylor Kitsch‘s thunder?

I also felt I should mention last week’s top dogs as Grown Ups 2 fell 52% with $20 million and Pacific Rim dropped a healthy 57% for a $15.9 million second weekend. Sort of interesting to see that a film that generated so much conversation only a few days ago will likely be out of the top ten and out of mind within only three weeks. Speaking of which, The Lone Ranger is now out of the top ten, dropping another 63%. It’s only been in theaters for 18 days and it seems like the conversation around it ended a year ago.

In limited release The Way, Way Back and Fruitvale Station remained tremendously strong in limited release. Way, Way Back brought in $2.2 million from only 304 theaters while Fruitvale managed $742,000 from 34 theaters for a $21,832 per theater average. By comparison, Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Only God Forgives opened in only 78 theaters and brought in $315,000 ($4,039 per).

Looking at Laremy’s and the aggregate of the reader predictions, clearly The Conjuring sneaked up on most everyone just as most everyone over-played R.I.P.D.‘s chances, but as you’ll see below, not everyone was stumped.


Top Movies for Weekend of July 19 – July 21 (Estimates)
Rank     Movie     Gross     Theaters     Avg.Per     YTD     Distributor
01     The Conjuring     $41.53M     2,903     $14,306     $41.53M     Universal
02     Despicable Me 2     $25.0M     3,820     $6,560     $276.1M     Universal
03     Turbo     $21.5M     3,806     $5,649     $31.2M     Fox
04     Grown Ups 2     $20.0M     3,491     $5,729     $79.5M     Sony
05     Red 2     $18.5M     3,016     $6,134     $18.5M     Lionsgate
06     Pacific Rim     $15.95M     3,285     $4,857     $68.2M     Warner Bros.
07     R.I.P.D.     $12.76M     2,852     $4,475     $12.76M     Universal
08     The Heat     $9.32M     2,689     $3,468     $129.3M     Fox
09     World War Z     $5.2M     2,006     $2,592     $186.9M     Paramount
10     Monsters University     $5.0M     2,186     $2290     $249.0M     Disney

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