Weekend Wrap-Up

Conjuring Scores; Universal Ripped by a Flop

By John Hamann

July 21, 2013

He doesn't seem like a very *good* paranormal investigator.

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Our third opener is Red 2 and it finishes a sad fifth. The Bruce Willis actioner for seniors earned $18.5 million, a few million less than what the original opened to in 2010 ($21.8 million). The sequel cost $26 million more than the original ($84 million versus $58 million), so to open lower and cost much more is death for this supposed franchise. Additionally, the original Red was 72% fresh, while the sequel is 40% fresh. The entire reason the first one was successful was because it had legs, so with poor reviews, Lionsgate will likely take a hit on this one, costing them the dollars earned from Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain. They deserve it, as Red 2 was simply a cash grab, although a cash grab starring the always fabulous Helen Mirren.

Pacific Rim is sixth and is in serious trouble. The Guillermo del Toro flick earned only $16 million this weekend, off a hurtful 57% compared to opening weekend when it earned $37.3 million. Despite being a good film, audiences are not coming out, so its $190 million budget is looming for Warner Bros. Pacific Rim still has a shot at hitting $100 million domestically; and it already has $110 overseas, so it could see a worldwide cume of $250 million. The price tag was likely $275 million all in. So far, Pacific Rim has earned $68.2 million at the domestic box office, and frankly I’m surprised at the loss the studio will take on this one.

On the other hand, I’m not surprised at the loss Universal is going to take from R.I.P.D. Universal seemed to out and out ignore this one leading up to release, and the result of that lack of marketing is in plain view today. Despite a $130 million plus budget, R.I.P.D. earned only $12.8 million over the weekend and will top out in North America with less than $35 million. If Universal’s marketing spend is the same overseas as it was domestically, the studio stands to earn very little at the box office for R.I.P.D., and it will provide Ryan Reynolds his second mega flop in a couple of years. The last was the Green Lantern, which cost Warner Bros. $200 million to make (plus marketing), and took in only $219 million worldwide. At least the domestic/overseas grosses outpaced the budget for The Green Lantern, something I don’t see happening for R.I.P.D. It joins Pacific Rim, The Lone Ranger, and White House Down as the flops of the summer; however, I think "flop" is not the right descriptor for Pacific Rim and The Lone Ranger. Those two films were disappointments, (along with Turbo, which also starts Reynolds), whereas White House Down and R.I.P.D. are good old fashioned flops. R.I.P.D. must have sounded good on paper, but a 12% rotten rating at RottenTomatoes indicates the good idea got lost in the wash.

Eighth spot goes to The Heat, which has just that going for it in weekend four. The Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy starrer took in another $9.3 million this weekend, dropping a solid 33%. Made for only $43 million, this one has a total so far of $129.3 million.


World War Z hangs out in the top ten for one more weekend, as it takes ninth place with a total of $5.2 million. It's been a pleasant surprise for the studio given all the negative buzz during its production, with a domestic total of $186.9 and nearly $270 million from overseas venues. Its domestic total is actually going to slightly exceed the production budget, which has to be considered a win.

Tenth is Monsters University, which earned $5 million. The Disney Pixar release has not found the momentum or the overall success that Despicable Me 2 has. It dropped another 53% this weekend, and has a domestic gross so far of $249 million, against what is likely a $200 million budget. The overseas box office has passed the $280 million mark.

In other box office news this weekend, The Way, Way Back expanded to 304 screens and grossed another $2.2 million. It had a venue average of $7,368, and has a gross so far of $4.6 million. Fruitvale Station expanded to 34 screens, and took in $742,272, giving it a venue average of $21,832.

Overall this weekend, the top 12 total is still strong, but it’s no match for last year when The Dark Knight Rises opened. This year the top 12 managed to pull in $181.4 million – despite two disappointments and one flop opening. A year earlier, The Dark Knight Rises led the top 12 to $233 million. Next weekend bring the summer box office season’s turn, where we only have opener in The Wolverine, and will start to see declining revenues from the top 12.

Top Weekend Box Office for 7/19/13-7/21/13 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Conjuring WARNER BROS. $41,350,000 New $41,350,000
2 Despicable Me 2 UNIVERSAL $25,059,200 - 43% $276,159,235
3 Turbo Fox $21,500,000 New $31,202,800
4 Grown Ups 2 SONY $20,000,000 - 52% $79,500,000
5 Red 2 Lionsgate $18,500,000 New $18,500,000
6 Pacific Rim WARNER BROS. $15,955,000 - 57% $68,235,000
7 R.I.P.D. $12,762,700 New $12,762,700
8 The Heat Fox $9,325,000 - 33% $129,292,400
9 World War Z Paramount $5,200,000 - 44% $186,941,000
10 Monsters University Walt Disney Pictures $5,000,000 - 53% $249,000,000
11 The Lone Ranger $4,300,000 - 63% $81,200,000
12 White House Down SONY $2,400,000 - 61% $68,453,000
  Also Opening/Notables
  Girl Most Likely Roadside Attractions $730,000 New $730,000
  Only God Forgives Radius/twc $315,008 New $315,008
  Blackfish Magnolia $60,000 New $60,000
  The Act of Killing Drafthouse Films $28,067 New $28,067
  Fruitvale Station Weinstein Co. $742,272 + 92% $1,334,485
  Still Mine Samuel Goldwyn $75,923 + 262% $535,163
  The Hunt Magnolia $60,000 + 39% $125,000
  Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain Lionsgate $2,100,000 - 56% $30,012,800
  The Way, Way Back FOX SEARCHLIGHT $2,240,000 + 100% $4,632,300
  Man of Steel Warner Bros. $1,840,000 - 61% $285,021,000
  This Is the End SONY $1,225,000 - 57% $94,475,000
  20 Feet From Stardom Radius/twc $398,004 - 20% $2,425,990
  Now You See Me Lionsgate $465,000 - 64% $114,439,616
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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