As the only new release that didn’t underwhelm at the box office, The Conjuring took the weekend by default. So what else came out you ask? Well there was Turbo, DreamWorks Animation’s 2nd flick under their new distribution deal with Fox, Red 2 failing to match its predecessor, and R.I.P.D., genuinely dead on arrival, no pun intended.
Between The Purge, Mama and now this, we could say 2013 has been rather good for horror, at least in terms of financial success. If we narrow our pool down to just paranormal horrors, with its $41.8 million debut The Conjuring stands as the 2nd best opener ever. This bods very well for upcoming Insidious Chapter 2, directed by the same James Wan and starring the same Patrick Wilson. Fun fact, when I first saw a preview for The Conjuring in theaters, I instantly thought it was the sequel to Insidious. Anyway, props to everyone for a very well made movie, especially James Wan. It might be too soon to tell but The Conjuring could end up grossing over $100 million in North America, on a $20 million budget.
After two weeks at the top Despicable Me 2 found its match in The Conjuring, thus falling a spot with its $24.9 million. 19 days in and Despicable Me 2 totals $276 million, making it the 3rd fastest grossing animation of all time behind Shrek 2 and Toy Story 3. Since this is only the 4th feature (in three years) for Illumination Entertainment, it’s all the more impressive having them already sit alongside giants with decades of experience like DreamWorks Animation and Pixar. Where does it stop? With Turbo going largely unnoticed (as we will see in a moment), $320 million is a done deal for Despicable Me 2, $340 being on the horizon.
Speaking of Turbo, $21.3 million over the weekend and $31 million after 5 days make this the 19th best opener for DreamWorks Animation, out of 27 features. Everything below Turbo is either co-produced with Aardman (great animations, but with the exception of Chicken Run, never broke out in the States) or over a decade old. So Turbo is in a very special and completely unflattering spot right now, on the verge of becoming the 2nd box office disappointment for the studio in less than a year. After The Croods DreamWorks Animation looked like they were back on track, I’m not so sure of that anymore. Now more than ever, there’s a whole lot riding on How to Train Your Dragon 2, scheduled for next year.
Grown Ups 2 drops to 4th with $19.8 million for a 10-day total of $79.3 million. I really really want to say bad things about this film’s box office run so far but I just can’t. For whatever reason it’s still ahead of Grown Ups ($77.6 million after 10 days) and that film finished with $162 million. Yet I’m holding my stance, no way this takes in as much, no way.
Rounding out the top 5 with a disappointing $18 million is Red 2. Three years ago Red started at $21.7 million and went on to gross $90.3 million. Now Red 2 comes along and it’s not looking nearly as hot with probably no more than $60 million by the end of its run.
But wait, there’s more, can’t forget R.I.P.D.. The supernatural comedy came in 7th with $12.6 million, that’s less than a tenth of its $130 million budget. Good thing Universal has had such a prosperous year (Fast and Furious 6 and Despicable Me 2), the loss here won’t hit them all that hard. Just shove it under the rug and pretend like it never existed in the first place.