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

Box Office
by Tom Brueggemann
August 4, 2013 1:49 PM
8 Comments
  • |
'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.

8 Comments

  • jedi77 | August 6, 2013 6:09 AMReply

    Conjuring as most profitable? Even by a long shot that is a ridiculous statement.
    As pointed out, Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity, hell even Star Wars was way more profitable.
    The Conjuring will make a lot less money than Star Wars, and that only cost half of what the Conjuring cost to make.

    Where do you people get these crazy ideas?

  • Patrick | August 5, 2013 5:57 PMReply

    The Conjuring the most profitable ever? Please. In percentage terms its gotta trail The Blair Witch Project which had a prodution budget of approximately $60,000 and grossed $248M worldwide...in 1999 dollars.

  • XS | August 5, 2013 11:48 AMReply

    What are you talking about? In 10 days THE WOLVERINE made a international total of 250 million. It will end its domestic run somewhere in the 140 million area and the international run above THE LAST STAND's 225 million.

    The movie cost 120 million, add in the ad campaign, the cinema share etc... and you will get a total cost of 240 million (a high estimate): Meaning... everything the movie makes now is PURE PROFIT.
    It will end on an international 450 million... how is that a disappointment?

  • jedi77 | August 6, 2013 6:13 AM

    sorry, taht was 25% of the Chinese BO.

  • jedi77 | August 6, 2013 6:13 AM

    You do know that not every Box Office dollar goes to the studio right?
    Basically they get between 50-60% of the North American BO, and maybe 15-30% of the foreign (they get only 15% of the Chinese BO for instance).
    So there is aloooong way to go to be profitable just on Box Office returns.

    But it is a modest hit, no doubt about it. Especially at a 120 million budget.

  • Donella | August 4, 2013 4:49 PMReply

    Has The Conjuring outdone both Ethan Hawke's The Purge and Marlon Wayans's Haunted House in ROI? Regardless, supernatural haunted house movies seem pretty reliable.

  • Eustace | August 4, 2013 4:42 PMReply

    American Gangster was not a action movie! Did the author even see the movie? It was a Biography | Crime | Drama if anything.

  • Tom Brueggemann | August 4, 2013 5:28 PM

    I consider American Gangster to be an action film as well as the other things you listed. Its promise of action was one of the main elements.
    I don't consider "action" to be pejorative, merely descriptive.
    It's part of how Universal marketed the film - check out the trailer.

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