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Big-budget movies may be sucking up all the attention at Comic-Con this weekend, but it's a low-budget surprise hit that's actually dominating movie theaters. According to the early numbers at Deadline, The Conjuring is blowing away the rest of the competition, making $17 million on Friday alone and cruising toward a $38.5 million weekend. The James Wan-directed horror film is even getting much better audience feedback than most horror films, with an A- CinemaScore likely to help it stay afloat as the summer goes on.
While there's good news for one new film, there's bad news for three more, and none worse than R.I.P.D., the big-budget sci-fi adventure that's been pegged for failure for a while now and lived up to the low expectations; it made $4.7 million, only good enough for seventh place-- that's behind holdovers like Grown Ups 2 and even Pacific Rim, which was a much less drastic underperformer. The other two new releases were weak, but not quite as bad-- Turbo debuted at third place with $6.5 million, behind holdover smash hit Despicable Me 2, while Red 2 made $6.2 million, good enough for fifth place behind Grown Ups 2. Turbo will avoid the stigma of the being the lowest-opening film ever for DreamWorks Animation-- that title still goes to last fall's pricey misfire Rise of the Guardians-- but it's still pretty weak for an animated film that ought to appeal to huge audiences. It's genuinely bizarre when four movies, aiming for four relatively different audiences, open in a single weekend, and only one of them manages to sneak past the holdover competition out there.
Of all the new releases The Conjuring was also the one we liked by far the most, with Kristy writing that it's "an impressively frightening and engaging journey." Mack had the duty of reviewing Turbo, damning it with what was basically a sigh of a review: "I can't think of any reasons why anyone would like Turbo, just a whole lot of explanations of why it's halfway decent or kinda enjoyable at parts." I was really not a fan of Red 2, writing that it was "a hobbled mess, a sequel to a modest hit that nobody asked for." And finally, Kristy got to witness the disastrous spectacle that was R.I.P.D., writing both a review and a To 3D or not to 3D rundown-- sadly, neither of them really make a strong argument for going out to see it. This seems to be one of those flops that actually deserved it.
Let us know in the comments what you're seeing this weekend-- if you're not battling the hordes at Comic-Con, that is-- and we'll have a full box office report to you on Sunday.