July 20, 2013

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “The Conjuring” Materializes a Huge Weekend


Based on preliminary numbers at Deadline, THE CONJURING (Warners) might be headed for the biggest horror opening of the year.  It reportedly pulled in $16.5M on Thursday night/Friday, neck-and-neck with the $16.8M that The Purge made on its opening day.  But Conjuring has the kind of strong reviews and exit polls that suggest it might have the word-of-mouth needed to pull ahead of Purge‘s $34.1M weekend, possibly even close to $40M.  (Purge, for its part, fell a heavy 38% on its 2d day of release.)

That was about it for good news on this busy Friday, though.  TURBO (DreamWorks Animation/20th) couldn’t even beat the third Friday of DESPICABLE ME 2 (Universal), Gru and his minions ahead with $7.5M compared to Turbo‘s mere $6M.  Turbo is unlikely to reach $25M for the weekend and $35M for its first 5 days of release, and it has only one free weekend before the deluge of summer kiddie movies continues with The Smurfs 2 and Disney’s Planes.  Despicable Me 2, for its part, will all but certainly end up as the summer’s #2 movie, behind only Iron Man 3 and with much lower costs.  RED 2 (Lionsgate/Summit) is reporting a $6.2M Friday, $1.1M behind the first day for its predecessor.  The first RED had a $21.8M weekend, so the sequel is likely headed for about $17.5M, and unlikely to duplicate the original’s 4.5x multiple of its opening.  As for R.I.P.D., it deserves a paragraph of its own.

R.I.P.D. (Universal) looks like it’s going to be the ugliest bomb of the summer, with just $4.8M on Thursday night/Friday and word of mouth that’s likely to be poisonous.  It probably won’t get past $12M for the weekend, on a reported $150M production cost, meaning $250-300M once marketing is included.  That means even Johnny Depp will be able to snub Ryan Reynolds at the next Movie Stars Club luncheon.

On the holdover front, GROWN UPS 2  (Sony) slumped 60% from last Friday to $6.5M, possibly giving it a $23M weekend, with the movie on its way to perhaps $130M.  That would be $32M behind the first Grown Ups, which fell a lighter 52% on its second Friday. PACIFIC RIM (Warners/Legendary) plunged an unseemly 67% from last week’s opening day to $4.8M, with prospects for a $17M weekend and $100M (if it’s lucky) US total, meaning even an overseas result triple its box office here might not bring it to breakeven.  THE HEAT (20th) is still America’s summer comedy of choice, down just 33% from last Friday and headed for as much as a $150M US total.  WORLD WAR Z (Paramount) lost a lot of theaters and fell almost 50% from last week, still looking like it’s going to run out of gas before hitting $200M in the US.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."