Note to Universal: When it comes to ghosts, it would appear audiences prefer the fact-based kind vs. silly spirits being chased by Ryan Reynolds and the Dude.
Universal’s $130 million disaster “R.I.P.D.,” which grossed a dismal $4.5 million on Friday and is headed toward just $12 million in three days, joins the summer’s list of biggest bombs, except the studio scaled back on the pic’s marketing spend. The Reynolds-Jeff Bridges sci-fi comedy is potentially the biggest money-loser of the season.
On the complete opposite end of the spectral spectrum, Warner Bros.-New Line’s fact-based scarer “The Conjuring,” which cost just $20 million to produce, made nearly that opening day, with $17 million. Pic is expected to gross north of $35 million through Sunday.
“The Conjuring,” which stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson and is directed by James Wan (“Saw”), was tracking to land somewhere in the mid-$20 millions for the three days, making it a close race for first with Fox’s DreamWorks Animation pic “Turbo.”
That won’t happen, since the Reynolds-voiced toon isn’t expected to crack even the $20 million in three days. Instead, “Turbo,” which made just $6.5 million on Friday, will gross around $27 million in its first five days.
The domestic start for “Turbo,” which cost $135 million to produce, is even more sluggish than expected, marking the worst three-day opening for recent CGI-animated DreamWorks toons. Pic will need to rely on overseas now even more to become financially solvent.
Also getting buried this weekend, Lionsgate-Summit’s “Red 2″ collected just $6.3 million on Friday. The studio projects the film will earn less than what the original did opening weekend, with $18 million.
Helping offset its hugely disappointing opening of “R.I.P.D.,” Universal saw a better-than-expected hold for “Despicable Me 2″ on Friday, landing in second place behind “The Conjuring,” with $7.4 million.
“Despicable Me 2″ should gross nearly $25 million in its third frame (down just 44%), lifting its Stateside cume to north of $275 million and making it the year’s third-highest grossing release so far, behind “Iron Man 3″ and “Man of Steel.”