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'2 Guns' Blasts Mild August Weekend; 'Smurfs 2' Lags Stateside; 'Conjuring' Most Profitable Movie Ever Made?

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood August 4, 2013 at 1:49PM

Universal returned to the #1 spot with Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg actioner "2 Guns," the latest in the studio's diverse string of successful openings, after an expensive detour with the dreadful opening of "R.I.P.D." "2 Guns" led a top 10 that totaled about $120 million in gross, a jump of $8 million over last year. Meantime, the domestic take for "The Smurfs 2" disappointed, although Sony reports better international returns.
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'The Conjuring'
'The Conjuring'

What comes next: With another animation release opening Friday and a $100 million+ cost, Sony is going to need all those foreign returns to get this anything close to the money-maker the previous version was.

4. The Conjuring (Warner Bros.) Week 3 - Last weekend #2

$13,660,000 (-38%) in 3,115 theaters (+ 93); PSA: $4,385; Cumulative: $108,590,000

When the history of the summer of 2013 is told, this $20 million budget film will likely have the best return to cost of any release, as well as out-grossing films several films six times or more expensive. The small drop this weekend -- horror-related films tend to fall more quickly than other genres -- shows that this is reaching a wider audience than at first blush, with strong word of mouth (a rare commodity this summer) kicking in.

What comes next: Most of international has yet to open (it will roll out throughout August and September), but this could approach $200 million domestically, so a comparable or better result overseas would make this (in unadjusted figures) one of the most profitable films ever made.

5. Despicable Me 2 (Universal) Week 5 - Last weekend #3

$10,400,000 (-37%) in 3,207 theaters (-269); PSA: $3,240; Cumulative: $326,700,000

Universal says this has become its most profitable film ever (though "E.T." and others with figures adjusted actually were bigger hits) and this blockbuster continues to soar both domestically with another small drop against intense animated competition, and continues to thrive overseas. Worldwide, it's up to $713 million, with several major territories still to open and business continuing to thrive across the board.

What comes next: Likely to get to #2 for the year so far (behind mighty "Iron Man 3") and reach at least $900 million, this has hit on all cylinders and exceeded expectations.

6. Grown Ups 2 (Sony) Week 4 - Last weekend #5

$8,100,000 (-30%) in 3,075 theaters (-183); PSA: $2,634; Cumulative: $116,400,000

Look at that small drop -- incredible for a poorly reviewed Adam Sandler comedy that looked up front like a serviceable but not exceptional performer. Now it has turned into a significant hit, with more than $150 million domestically. The public likes it, and has provided Sony with one of its few bright spots this summer.

What comes next: Most of the rest of the world has yet to open, so this has a long way to go before it's through. Making a good profit on its $80 million cost (double that of "The Heat," the year's top comedy) seems assured.

7. Turbo (20th Century-Fox) Week 3 - Last weekend #4

$6,400,000 (-53%) in 2,985 theaters (-824); PSA: $2,144; Cumulative: $69,479,000

While "Smurfs 2" was disappointing, it still took a bite out of the struggling "Turbo," which fell more than the better animated films do (they tend to hold stronger than other releases). Foreign is not quite equal at this point (recently, that has been the source of the big majority of the total gross for animation), but multiple major territories have yet to open. Dreamworks Animation (its producer) says this will show a small profit, below their expectations, but it has some way to go before achieving that.

What comes next: With Disney's "Planes" opening this week, competition keeps on coming.

8. Red 2 (Lionsgate) Week 3 - Last weekend #6

$5,650,000 (-40%) in 2,755 theaters (-261); PSA: $2,051; Cumulative: $45,153,000

A respectable hold for the third weekend of this adult action sequel that though it hasn't done as well as hoped could stick around a bit longer than it initially appeared capable of doing.

What comes next: Even with most of the world still ahead, this is unlikely to cover its $84 million cost.

9. The Heat (20th Century-Fox) Week 6 - Last weekend #8

$4,725,000 (-32%) in,2,074 theaters (-310); PSA: $2,278; Cumulative: $149,566,000

Falling again less than a third, sticking around the top 10 longer than many far more expensive films, "The Heat" is one of the biggest successes of the summer domestically and another indication that developing films with female stars can pay off, if only studio bosses can think outside the box once in a while.

What comes next: Probably will fall a little short of "Bridesmaids"' $169-million domestic take, but it should edge out "Grown Ups 2" as the biggest comedy of the summer

10. Pacific Rim (Warner Bros.) Week 4 - Last weekend #7

$4,570,000 (-41%) in 1,803 theaters (799-)' PSA: $2,535; Cumulative: $92,961,000

China opened strong for this on Wednesday, and with Japan expected to be huge, and Brazil and Spain still to open, this could break even or even turn a profit even as it struggles to hit $100 million in North America.

What comes next: There's early speculation about a sequel.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Baltasar Kormákur, The Conjuring, Pacific Rim, The Spectacular Now , Blue Jasmine


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.