This weekend once again proves that, when you come right down to it, it’s character and story that matter, not how many CGI effects you can cram into a film.
The Conjuring, the very modestly budgeted ($19 million) horror film without big name stars, directed by James Wan (Insidious, Saw), was the No.1 film this weekend, with just over $41 million.
Warners evidently knew what they had after some incredibly strong advance test screenings, and pushed the release of the film back from its originally planned February release date, to this summer.
The R-rated film is also unusual in the fact that there’s no gore or explicit violence in it, but got its rating because the MPAA felt the film too “too intense and too scary.”
On the other hand, Universal’s R.I.P.D. joins the ever growing list of big budget summer flops, opening with a dismal $12.7 million, compared to the film’s $150+ million production cost. With every disaster like this, Steven Spielberg’s dire prediction of a film industry collapse because of the steady stream of super expensive, big budget flops crippling the film business looks closer to becoming a reality every week.
In the case of R.I.P.D the film went through several production and release delays and the advance word was never good on the film. And the fact that the studio held media screenings the day before the film’s release, is always a sign that the studio knows it has a stinker on its hands.
Fortunately for Universal, Despicable Me 2 is still going strong, becoming the highest grossing animated film domestically so far this year, and has already passed the half billion dollar mark worldwide.
Pacific Rim took a huge drop this weekend and will limp to maybe a $100 million gross domestically. It’s going to take the overseas B.O. figures to determine if the $180 million film eventually makes a profit.
As for Fruitvale Station, the film expanded this weekend from 7 screens to 34 screens, with a weekend total of $742,000 and has grossed, to date, $1,334,000. With a per screen average of $21,824, the film still has the highest per screen average of any film currently playing.