Box Office Results: The Conjuring Casts a Spell Over Moviegoers

The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

For the first time in nearly a month, an animated movie didn’t top the box office and that’s because “Saw” and Insidious co-mastermind James Wan’s The Conjuring (New Line/Warner Bros.), based on an early case file by supernatural investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren and starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lily Taylor and Ron Livingston won the weekend by a superior margin over all the other movies. It grossed an estimated $41.5 million after making $17 million on Friday and is looking to nearly double its production budget in a single weekend.

Despicable Me 2 dropped to second place with $25 million, down 43% this weekend, and bringing its total to $276 million, still making it the third-highest grossing movie of the year behind Man of Steel, but it’s quickly catching up and should be #2 for the year by sometime this week.

The rest of the new wide releases didn’t fare nearly as well. As expected, DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox picked a bad time for a release as their second movie of the year, Turbo, featuring the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Snoop Dogg and Samuel L. Jackson, opened on Wednesday and grossed $9.7 million in its first two days. Over the three-day weekend, it added another $21.5 million to take third place behind the much stronger animated sequel, which is DreamWorks Animation’s lowest opening to date.

Grown Ups 2, co-starring Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello and Nick Swardson, dropped to fourth place with $20 million with a total gross of $79.5 million after ten days in theaters.

Maybe it’s just a general ennui towards sequels–there’s been a lot the last few weeks–that hurt the action-comedy RED 2 (Summit Entertainment), reuniting Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren, joined by Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee and Brian Cox, as it ended up opening lower than the original movie did back in 2010 with just $18.5 million in just over 3,000 theaters or $6,100 per site.

Guillermo del Toro’s monsters vs. robots epic Pacific Rim, starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman, dropped to sixth place from third, down 57% with just under $16 million for the weekend and $68.2 million total.

That just left R.I.P.D. (Universal), starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, which tanked with just $12.7 million in 2,852 theaters to take seventh place despite a huge last minute marketing push by Universal Pictures in the last couple weeks. It averaged less than $4,500 per site in its opening weekend but failed to find success against the much stronger new and returning movies. Its low C+ CinemaScore is also not a good sign that moviegoing audiences liked the movie enough to go see it in the weeks to come either.

Having the best hold in the Top 10, the hit police comedy The Heat (20th Century Fox), starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, dropped just 33% in its fourth weekend, bringing in $9.3 million to take eighth place and bringing its total to $129.3 million since opening late last month.

Ninth place went to Brad Pitt’s World War Z (Paramount Pictures) with $5.2 million and $187 million grossed to date while Disney•Pixar’s animated prequel Monsters University dropped to tenth place with $5 million. The latter also crossed the $500 million globally this weekend, Pixar’s tenth overall title out of 14 releases to reach that benchmark. Domestically, it has grossed $249 million, making it the fourth-highest grossing movie of 2013, with another $284 million grossed internationally to bring its global total to $532.9 million.

Gore Verbinski’s Western action flick The Lone Ranger (Walt Disney Pictures), starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, dropped out of the Top 10 with $4.3 million, down another 63% from last weekend, as it has grossed $81.2 million domestically and $147.6 million globally.

The Top 10 grossed roughly $175 million which was down significantly from last year when The Dark Knight Rises opened with $161 million on its lonesome.

In limited release, the Kristen Wiig vehicle Girl Most Likely (Roadside Attractions) opened in 18th place with $736 thousand in 353 theaters, averaging a weak $2,000 per site, while Nicolas Refn’s Only God Forgives (Radius•TWC), starring Ryan Gosling–their reunion from Drive– brought in $315 thousand in 78 theaters averaging roughly twice that amount per theater.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.

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