Conjuring Scores; Universal Ripped by a Flop
By John Hamann
July 21, 2013
Second this weekend is Despicable Me 2, which is leaving Monsters University in the dust. After a $44 million frame last weekend, and $250 million in revenue prior to the weekend, Despicable Me 2 still managed to earn another $25.1 million this weekend. The minion movie dropped a so-so 43% compared to last weekend, and now has a superstar domestic gross of $276.2 million. It has now earned more than the original did over its entire domestic run ($251.5 million), and will finish well beyond the $300 million mark. The overseas gross is ahead of the domestic side, which means the Universal release is approaching the $600 million worldwide mark. The original took in $291 million overseas, a number the sequel has beaten as it now has accrued $308.4 million from overseas venues. Remember, Despicable Me 2 cost only $76 million to make, so it will be able to fund the losses coming from R.I.P.D.
Third goes to Turbo, which can’t get past the three-weekend old Despicable Me 2, and only got by Adam Sandler’s awful Grown Ups 2 by a hair. From DreamWorks Animation and Fox, Turbo cost $135 million to produce and likely another $100 million to market, so a $50 million plus opening weekend was needed to push this one towards profitability. Turbo didn’t come close. The animated film earned $21.5 million over the weekend proper, and $31.2 million since opening Wednesday. That Wednesday release was a mistake for the studio, as while I understand they were afraid of Smurfs 2, they needed to be more afraid of Despicable Me 2. Turbo beat the three-weekend-old sequel only once, on opening day, when the minions earned $5.23 million, and Turbo earned $5.55 million. Turbo got trounced by a million on Friday compared to Despicable Me 2, and only got by Grown Ups 2 by about $100,000.
This result is simply not good enough, and for Fox, this is history repeating itself. The studio released Epic in May. It earned $33.5 million over its first three days, more than what Turbo earned in five days. Epic went on to earn $105 million domestically and $135 million overseas so far, against a budget of $100 million. Epic might have made a few dollars for Fox, but certainly not much, as marketing costs are not included in that budget. Turbo cost $30 million more and opened with far less. It had only so-so reviews, and while it had a strong Cinemascore, let’s remember this is an underdog story and opening night would have been populated by children so I don’t put much into that. Turbo is simply a Cars rip off with snails; parents have seen this before and hated it, so I would imagine that just the kids saw this one this weekend. Next weekend will give us a better indication of what’s at stake for Fox, but at this point, it doesn’t look good.
Fourth is Grown Ups 2, a film that isn’t worth the effort of writing about. It earned $20 million in weekend two and dropped 52%. The original earned $19 million and dropped 53% in its second frame, but that was July 4th weekend. This is the same movie starring the same people being seen by the same people. So far, North America has been fooled out of $79.5 million.