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Weekend Wrap-Up: Conjuring Calls Forth a Winning Weekend

July 22nd, 2013

The weekend box office was mixed with two of the four wide releases matching predictions, Turbo and R.I.P.D.. There was one movie failing to reach expectations, Red 2. And finally there was one more beating nearly all predictions, The Conjuring. Fortunately, The Conjuring did so well that it made up for the weak films and helped the overall box grow to $195 million. Granted, that was within a rounding error of last weekend, but any growth is good news. There is also some bad news, as this was 16% lower than the same weekend last year, but since that was the weekend The Dark Knight Rises opened, this is actually better than expected. Year-to-date, 2013 has pulled in $6.12 billion. This is still lower than last year's pace ($6.16 billion), but it is close enough that it would only take one surprise weekend result to catch up. Earlier in the year, I thought 2013 was a lost cause. Now I'm much more optimistic.

It turns out the weekend race was nowhere near as close as some were predicting, as The Conjuring crushed the competition earning $41.86 million. By comparison, the film reportedly cost just $20 million to make, meaning the studio has already covered its initial cost. It still needs to cover its P&A budget, which is potentially higher than its production budget. Additionally, even with strong reviews, this genre tends to struggle when it comes to long legs. I think $100 million is out of reach, but if it can top $80 million, then it will likely break even just on the domestic theatrical numbers. That's something only about one in ten films can accomplish.

Despicable Me 2 took second place with $24.91 million over the weekend for a total of $276.01 million after three. By this time next week, it should have become just the second film of 2013 to reach the $300 million mark.

Turbo managed third place with $21.31 million over the weekend for a total opening of $31.02 million over five days. This is not a bad start for a kids movie and its legs should be good given its reviews and its target audience, but I don't think it will get to $100 million, so it will likely struggle to break even. On the other hand, there is a planned TV series and the merchandising will help it to break even relatively easily.

Grown Ups 2 earned some of the worst reviews of the year, but still managed to hold on better than most films down 52% to $19.87 million over the weekend for a total of $79.39 million after ten days of release. It will top $100 million with ease, and it is in fact ahead of its predecessor at this point in its run.

Red 2 really struggled earning fifth place with just $18.05 million. Its reviews are not good, but 40% positive is hardly fatal for a wide release like this. The goodwill generated by the first film should have helped it perform better than this.

R.I.P.D. missed the top five with just $12.69 million. This is inline with expectations, but unfortunately for the studio, expectations were really low. Its Tomatometer Score was just 10% positive and given its genre and more or less direct competition next week, it will likely completely collapse.

Looking in at the sophomore class, we find Pacific Rim in sixth place with $16.00 million over the weekend for a two week total of $68.28 million. Its decline of 57% is troubling, but not completely unexpected given its genre. It will likely fall short of $100 million domestically, so it will rely on international numbers to break even.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, R.I.P.D., The Wolverine, Turbo, Despicable Me 2, Pacific Rim, RED 2, Grown Ups 2, The Conjuring