The Conjuring Sets Horror Film Record
Spooking box-office pundits, Warner Bros. R-rated scare-a-minute The Conjuring wound up with $41.9 million, even more than the studio's Sunday estimate ($41.5 million) and way ahead of the $30-35 million that analysts had predicted it would make on Friday. It was a record total for an R-rated horror flick. The Conjuring, which cost $20 million to make, left three other films that opened over the weekend in the dust, including Dreamworks Animation's $135-million Turbo, which opened at a snail's pace with just $21.3 million (add another $9.7 million for screenings on Wednesday and Thursday). James Marsh, a Piper Jaffray media analyst, predicted that the company would have to take a writedown of about $50 million. While reviews have been positive for the film and could help build word of mouth, at this stage we think it will be lucky to hit $100 million in the current competitive environment, Marsh wrotein a note to clients. Also making disappointing debuts were Lionsgate's Red 2 with $18 million, to place fifth, and Universal's R.I.P.D. with $12.7 million, to place seventh. After two weeks at No. 1, Universal's Despicable Me 2 dropped to second place with $24.9 million for the weekend, putting it on course to top $300 million by next weekend. Overall, the box office was down 19 percent from the same weekend a year ago, when The Dark Knight Rises debuted with a record-breaking $160 million.