Box Office: ‘Conjuring’ Is Low-Budget Hit While ‘R.I.P.D.,’ ‘Turbo’ Sink

Andrew Stewart
Variety

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.”


Related stories

'Turbo' Torpor Leaves Netflix Defending DreamWorks Animation Deals

Why Audiences Chose 'The Conjuring' Over 'R.I.P.D.'

Why Studios Must End Their Mega-Budget Obsession

Get more from Variety.com: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter