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Weekend Top Ten: 'The Conjuring' Triumphs While Box Office Slumps, R.I.P.D. Is D.O.A.

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood July 21, 2013 at 1:30PM

Warner Bros.' low-budget "The Conjuring" easily topped the weekend, with Fox/DreamWorks' "Turbo" placing only number three as the best of the rest. Lionsgate's "Red 2" struggled to keep pace with its predecessor, while Universal's "R.I.P.D." is lining up to be one of the summer's biggest flops. Altogether, four new openers with production budgets totaling around $400 million grossed less than $100 million this weekend, compared to the $161 million that one film, "The Dark Knight Rises," took in exactly one year ago. That led to an overall top 10 shortfall of about $50 million, as 2013 continues to struggle to catch up.

 7. R.I.P.D. (Universal) NEW - Cinemascore: C+; Criticwire: C-; Metacritic score: 26

$12,800,000 in 2,852 theaters; PSA: $4,475; Cumulative: $12,800,000

There's no sugarcoating this one. This is the weakest opening for an expensive (at least $135 million) production of the summer, far below earlier failures "After Earth," "White House Down," "The Lone Ranger" and others, with little likelihood of stabilization or international rescue.

Universal has otherwise had a great year, from "Mama" through "Despicable Me 2." This long-gestating project (based on a Dark Horse comic, and intended to launch a franchise a la "Ghost Busters" and "Men in Black") took chances with its casting -- Jeff Bridges, after a career relaunch that included an Oscar and "True Grit," and Ryan Reynolds, who has yet to prove his marquee value without a bigger co-star ("Green Lantern" also flopped).

Ironically, director Robert Schwentke was promoted to this level of project after his success with the first "Red," whose sequel coincidentally also opened this week. Producer Neil Moritz was behind the second biggest film of the year "Fast & Furious 6," but also was behind recent flops "Jack the Giant Slayer" and "Total Recall."

What comes next: R.I.P. indeed.

8.  The Heat (20th Century-Fox) Week; Last weekend: #4

$9,325,000 (-33%) in 2,689 theaters (-439); PSA: $3,468; Cumulative: $129,292,000

Another modest drop for this hit comedy, which has reached a level that makes Melissa McCarthy the star of the two biggest comedies of the year domestically (along with "Identity Thief.")

What comes next: This hasn't had the word of mouth that "The Bridesmaids" did, but looks like its ultimate domestic gross will be close.

9. World War Z (Paramount) Week 5; Last weekend: #7

$5,200,000 (-44%) in 2,066 theaters (-937); PSA: $2,517; Cumulative: $186,941,000

Approaching $500 million worldwide, this is one expensive action film that will be seen as a success. The elements that pushed it ahead of some of the others - its release date ahead of "Pacific Rim," Brad Pitt's ongoing appeal, the zombie element - weren't as obvious prior to the opening, when this was considered one of the summer's bigger risks.

What comes next: The success here will likely weigh as heavily for helping similar films get greenlit as studios consider reward/risk ratios in light of this summer's very uneven results.

10. Monsters University (Buena Vista) Week 6; Last weekend: #5

$5,000,000 (-53%) in 2,186 theaters (-956); PSA: $2,290; Cumulative: $249,000,000

This wasn't helped by "Turbo" opening on top of "Despicable Me 3," but with a worldwide total of $533 million (with more to come) it has performed up to what a decent Pixar release should do.

What comes next: That this will not do as well as "DM 3" is something for Pixar to ponder going forward -- did they wait too long for the sequel at a time when other animation studios are churning them out at a much faster pace?

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, The Conjuring, R.I.P.D., The Lone Ranger, Turbo

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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.