Friday Box Office: 'The Conjuring' Scares Up Huge $17 Million
Friday Box Office: 'The Conjuring' Scares Up Huge $17 Million, The Conjuring has earned a whopping $17 million yesterday, including $3.3 million in Thursday night showings. The well-reviewed 1970′s-set demonic possession thriller earned just a bit less than the $3.4 million earned by The Purge on its Thursday night debut back in early June and just a touch more than the $16.7 million 1.25-day total, meaning it’s playing nearly identically.
The Purge went on to gross $34 million over its opening weekend. If we give The Conjuring even the same multiplier (2.03x its Friday number), that gets James Wan’s thriller to $34.6 million. Barring unexpectedly bad frontloading, The Conjuring can steal away that ‘biggest opening weekend for a purely original R-rated horror film’ record that The Purge stole from The Devil Inside ($33 million) last month. It’s the biggest Friday debut for an R-rated original horror flick.
For what it’s worth, the film earned an A- from Cinemascore, which is unusually high for a horror film. Chalk the word-of-mouth up to both the film’s apparent high quality (waiting on the horror junkie wife for this one) and the fact that religious-themed horror film that plays well for those who are deeply religious. Think The Devil Inside, The Exorcism of Emily Rose ($30 million opening in 2005), and even Stigmata ($18 million opening back in 1999). In a far-less front-loaded era, The Exorcism of Emily Rose had a 2.67x weekend multiplier while Stigmata had a 2.8x multiplier. The same variables would give The Conjuring a debut of over/under $46 million. But even a relatively okay multiplier of 2.35x gets it over the $40 million mark.
Even if it “stalls” at $34 million, it still ends up one of the biggest horror debuts ever outside of films like the PG-13 The Grudge ($39 million), Paranormal Activity 2 ($40 million), Friday the 13th ($40 million),Paranormal Activity 3 ($52 million) and Hannibal ($58 million).
If you want to count horror-tinged thrillers or horror sci-fi, toss in I Am Legend ($77 million), War of the Worlds ($64 million), Signs ($60 million), The Village ($50 million), and Shutter Island ($41 million) as possible top contenders. If it has anything resembling a 3x multiplier for the weekend (unlikely, but the film seems to be garnering solid word of mouth), then we’re looking at a $45-$50 million debut. Either way, expect The Conjuring 2 in two years.
Red 2 earned $6.34 million on Friday, or just a touch below the $7.3 million that the original Red earned back in October 2010. The first ‘Bruce Willis and other senior citizens make an action film’ entry had a solid 2.9x multiplier for a $21 million debut. Let’s presume a slightly lower one (it is a sequel after all) and go 2.8x for a $17 million weekend. Of course the original Red was leggy as all hell, going 4.3x its opening weekend for a $90 million finish. Don’t expect a similar miracle here for this poorly reviewed sequel.
Turbo pulled in another $6.53 million on Friday, giving it $16.23 million for the first three days and what looks to be a $28 million five-day finish, one of the lowest debuts in Dreamworks Animation history and certainly the lowest Fri-Sun figure (around $19 million) since Flushed Away in late 2006. Oh well, my almost-6 year old enjoyed it quite a bit, as did her mother.
As sadly expected, R.I.P.D. earned just $4.8 million yesterday, with a likely $11 million opening weekend. With a cost of $130 million and no real upside on the horizon, this will not only be the biggest bomb of the summer but one of the bigger box office disasters in modern memory. I’ll go into a little more detail on this one tomorrow, but I’m sure Universal would kill for Battleship/John Carter type grosses at this point.
In holdover news, Pacific Rim earned $4.7 million, dropping a rather large 67% from last Friday. It’s eight day total is now $57 million. Word of mouth ain’t gonna save this one, and I’d argue that the scheduling of the San Diego Comic Con (one week earlier than usual this year) kinda messed up Warner Bros’ entire schedule, but that’s an essay for Monday.
In the end, it appears that it was a big-budget would-be blockbuster that only played to the niche converted. Grown Ups 2 fell 60% for a $6.4 million Friday gross, compared to a 52% drop for the first Grown Ups. The weekend drop will be high, but Sandler’s general audience comedies tend to recover over the long haul as they become the ‘second choice’ for general moviegoers.
Despicable Me 2 dropped just 44% for a $7.5 million third Friday, and it may-well cross $275 million by the end of the weekend. The Heat earned another $2.8 million for a $122.8 million cume. In limited release, Fruitvale Station expanded to 34 locations and earned $229, 634 on its second Friday. It should top $1 million by tomorrow before a major expansion next weekend. And The Way Way Back expanded to 304 screens and grossed $616,000, crossing the $3 million mark.
That’s it for now. Tune in tomorrow for the full weekend numbers. And again, I’m not at Comic Con (kids aren’t old enough yet), but for updates, go to Why So Blu?, because they are friends of mine and they are knee-deep in the trenches.