On a weekend stuffed with big-budget tentpoles, Warner Bros.’ modest horror release The Conjuring is scaring off every one of its rival releases. The $20 million James Wan-directed film pulled in $17 million on its first Friday at the box office. That’s slightly ahead of The Purge‘s $16.8 million opening Friday in may, and with better reviews and an excellent “A-” CinemaScore grade (a rarity in the horror genre), The Conjuring should surpass The Purge‘s $34.1 million debut. Right now, The Conjuring seems to be on pace for a $37 million weekend, which double Wan’s best previous opening, which came in 2004 when Saw cut up $18.3 million.
Despicable Me 2 held strong in second place with $7.5 million on its third Friday. The animated smash, which has already outgrossed Monsters University, wasn’t hurt too much by the arrival of yet another animated film, Turbo. Despicable Me 2 may capture another $25 million this weekend, which would push its total to $276 million.
In third place, Turbo, which had already earned $9.7 million on Wednesday and Thursday screenings, raced away with $6.5 million on its first Friday. The $135 million film about a snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) competing against racecars in the Indy 500, will take in about $19 million over its first weekend frame, which would give the Fox/DreamWorks release a lackluster $28.7 million in its first five days at the box office.
Grown Ups 2 fell 61 percent from its first Friday into fourth place with $6.4 million. The $80 million Adam Sandler comedy, which last weekend opened to $41.5 million, may take in another $20 million this weekend — good for a $79.5 million total.
Two new releases finished in fifth and sixth place. Red 2 took in $6.3 million on Friday, a full 14 percent drop from Red‘s $7.3 million opening Friday in 2010. The $85 million sequel may earn about $18 million this weekend. And then there was R.I.P.D., the Ryan Reynolds/Jeff Bridges action film that Universal say cost $130 million (though its budget has been reported at $154 million). R.I.P.D. earned just $4.8 million on Friday, which puts it on track for a disastrous $12.5 million debut and marks Universal’s first major misstep since Battleship.
Check back tomorrow for the full box office report.