Warner Bros. R-rated scare-fest The Conjuring takes a heaping helping of The Exorcist, a dash of Amityville Horror and a sprinkling of The Birds, mixes in a terrific cast and comes out on top with a much better-than-expected $41.5 million at very crowded multi-plexes this weekend. A great marketing campaign, counter-programming strategy and an impressive A- CinemaScore certainly paid big dividends. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga star as Ed and Lorraine Warren in the "based on a true story" account of particularly nasty demon that inhabits the newly purchsed home of a married couple (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) and how it begins to terrorize them and their young daughters. Packed with great tension and solid performances, director James Wan (Saw, Insidious, Saw III) is one of the most effective helmers working in the genre today and delivered at a $19.5 million production cost, a profit making hit.Universal's Despicable Me 2 continues to charge toward the $300 million mark in North America and $600 million worldwide while taking the second spot after two weeks at number one with $25 million for the weekend.In third place as perfect counter-programming to the scary R-rated The Conjuring, Fox and Dreamworks animation unleashed the animated Turbo. When it opened on Wednesday it grabbed the pole position with a gross of $5.5 million. A five day (Wed. through Sunday) total of just over $31.2 million and a three day weekend of $21.5 million made this a solid debut for a non-sequel animated family film. A remarkable CinemaScore of A+ will ensure the film's success in the coming weeks. According to Fox, internationally Turbo punched it off the line, earning $22.6m from 6,203 screens in 28 markets. The film is #1 in 19 countries. Strong openings in Europe (Russia, Portugal, Greece), Asia (Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand) and Latin America (everywhere) find the film thriving across all cultures and countries. Sony's Grown Ups 2 put in a respectable second weekend performance landing in fourth place with $20 million against a 52% drop and $79.5 million in North America after just 10 days of release.Debuting in fifth place with an expected $18.5 million is the PG-13 rated Red 2 from Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate that shot its way back into 3016 theaters this weekend. Following up on the success of October 2010's first installment which opened with $21.8 million and went on to earn just over $90 million at the North American box office, this latest version features the terrific cast that made the first film an action packed comedy hoot. Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich & Mary-Louise Parker return as mostly-retired black-ops agents who return for yet another over the top mission. Directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest), Red 2 should landed just shy of the box office territory of the first film as it attracted older audiences back to the summer movie marketplace.Sixth place goes to Warner Bros.' Pacific Rim earning nearly $16 million in its second weekend and $68.2 million to date.Universal's R.I.P.D. (Rest in Peace Department) opened in 2,849 theaters and managed a mere $12.762 million for a seventh place debut. The film was directed by Robert Schwentke (who also directed the first Red film) and features Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in this $130 million production. As an action crime comedy with a supernatural premise, the film had a tough time finding an audience in this very crowded marketplace. The summer movie season of 2013 at this point is performing well despite some high profile big budget flops of late and has managed to outpace every summer since 2010 at the same point and maintain an impressive 10% revenue advantage over last year.Top Movies for Weekend of July 19 - July 21 (Estimates)Rank Movie Gross Theaters Avg.Per YTD Distributor01 The Conjuring $41.53M 2,903 $14,306 $41.53M Universal02 Despicable Me 2 $25.0M 3,820 $6,560 $276.1M Universal03 Turbo $21.5M 3,806 $5,649 $31.2M Fox04 Grown Ups 2 $20.0M 3,491 $5,729 $79.5M Sony05 Red 2 $18.5M 3,016 $6,134 $18.5M Lionsgate06 Pacific Rim $15.95M 3,285 $4,857 $68.2M Warner Bros.07 R.I.P.D. $12.76M 2,852 $4,475 $12.76M Universal08 The Heat $9.32M 2,689 $3,468 $129.3M Fox09 World War Z $5.2M 2,006 $2,592 $186.9M Paramount10 Monsters University $5.0M 2,186 $2290 $249.0M Disn
The Conjuring scared off competition at the U.S. box office over the weekend (19-21Jul13) after raking in $41.3 million (£26.6 million) in ticket sales. The Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga thriller, based on the true story of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, is already a massive success after grossing more than double its production budget in the first three days of release.
Despicable Me 2 dropped to second place with takings of $25.1 million (£16.2 million), while animated family film Turbo, which features the voice of Ryan Reynolds, finished third with earnings of $21.5 million (£13.9 million).
Adam Sandler's comedy Grown Ups 2 came in fourth ($20 million/£12.9 million) and Red 2 premiered in fifth ($17.9 million/£11.5 million)
R.I.P.D., another of Reynolds' films and co-starring Jeff Bridges, was a major disappointment - it failed to break the top five, debuting at number seven ($12.7 million/£8.2 million).
Warner Bros. R-rated horror-fest The Conjuring takes a heaping helping of The Exorcist, a dash of Amityville Horror and a sprinkling of The Birds, mixes in a terrific cast and looks to come out on top with around $30 million at very crowded multi-plexes this weekend. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga star as Ed and Lorraine Warren in the "based on a true story" account of particularly nasty demon that inhabits the newly purchsed home of a married couple (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) and how it begins to terrorize them and their young daughters. Packed with great tension and solid performances, director James Wan (Saw, Insidious, Saw III) is one of the most effective helmers working in the genre today and looks to deliver another modestly budgeted hit.As perfect counter-programming to the scary Conjuring, Fox and Dreamworks animation unleashed the animated Turbo on Wednesday and grabbed the pole position with a gross of $5.5 million and in the process knocked the animated juggernaut Despicable Me 2 to second place for the day. Look for a five day (Wed. through Sunday) total of just over $3o million and a three day weekend in the mid-$20 millions for this solidly performing non-sequel animated family film.Next up is the PG-13 rated Red 2 from Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate that shoots its way back into 3016 theaters this weekend. Following up on the success of October 2010's first installment which opened with $21.8 million and went on to earn just over $90 million at the North American box office, this latest version features the terrific cast that made the first film an action packed comedy hoot. Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman & Mary-Louise Parker return as mostly-retired black-ops agents who return for yet another over the top mission. Directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest), Red 2 should land in about the same box office territory as the first film with an expected gross in the low-$20 millions as it draws older audiences back to the summer movies.Universal's 3-D R.I.P.D. (Rest in Peace Department) in 2,849 theaters is directed by Robert Schwentke (who also directed the first Red film) and features Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in this $130 million production. An action crime comedy with a supernatural premise has two undead cops tasked with the mission of finding destructive souls who are unwilling to go peacefully to the other side. A gross in the mid teens could land this one neck and neck with Warner Bros. Pacific Rim in a battle for fifth place and just behind Sony's Grown Ups 2 which could wind up in fourth with just over $20 million.The summer movie season of 2013 at this point is performing well despite some high profile big budget flops of late and has managed to outpace every summer since 2010 at the same point and maintain an impressive 13% revenue advantage over last year.
The 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards is shaping up to be one heck of a testosterone-charged run.
Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic" and Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" have emerged as the frontrunners in this year's race for the Globes, each receiving five nods apiece as nominations for the annual bash were announced this morning by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in Beverly Hills, Calif..
Trailing closely behind are Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical rock flick "Almost Famous," "Chocolat," "Wonder Boys" and Soderbergh's "Erin Brockovich," each earning four nominations.
Soderbergh's drug trafficking drama (which has yet to bow in theaters) picked up almost all the prized loot with a nod for best picture (drama), best director, best screenplay for scribe Stephen Gaghan and a best supporting actor and actress (drama) mention for Benicio Del Toro and Catherine Zeta-Jones, respectively.
Soderbergh and company will go up against Scott's brutish epic "Gladiator" in three other fronts: best picture (drama), best director and best supporting thanks to the lascivious performance by Joaquin Phoenix.
The Roman decadence film has also earned its rugged Australian star Russell Crowe a best actor (drama) nomination. Crowe was long favored by critics to receive a nomination for his performance. Rounding out the film's fifth nomination is a nod for best original score.
The usual suspects also turned up for the best actor (drama) category. Besides Crowe, there's Javier Bardem for his role as a gay Cuban poet in "Before Night Falls," Michael Douglas playing a mid-life-crisis-prone writer in "Wonder Boys," Geoffrey Rush as the decorum-defying Marquis de Sade in "Quills" and Tom Hanks -- who avenges his "The Green Mile" shutout last year -- with his turn as the modern-day Robinson Crusoe in "Cast Away."
But the most interesting race to watch is when Soderbergh goes up against himself. His "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich" are nominated in both the best director and best picture (drama) categories. (Soderbergh, we might add, has also been named best director by the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association on the strength of both flicks).
Besides going head-to-head with Scott, Soderbergh will also have to fend off Ang Lee ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") and Istvan Szabo ("Sunshine"), also contenders in the best director race.
Joining "Traffic," "Brockovich" and "Gladiator" in the best picture (drama) race are boy ballet film "Billy Elliot," the Douglas late bloomer "Wonder Boys" and the surprise dark horse "Sunshine."
As everyone suspected, Julia Roberts secured a best actress (drama) nom for her bosom-enhanced role in "Erin Brockovich." She's up against Joan Allen ("The Contender"), Bjork ("Dancer in the Dark"), Laura Linney ( "You Can Count On Me") and a somewhat surprising nomination for Ellen Burstyn for what some folks thought was more of a supporting role in "Requiem For a Dream."
In the best supporting actor (drama) race, the HFPA picked "The Contender" co-star Jeff Bridges, Willem Dafoe as the stoic bloodsucker in "Shadow of a Vampire," Albert Finney from "Erin Brockovich" and, as mentioned before, Del Toro in "Traffic" and Phoenix for "Gladiator."
Their female counterparts in the best supporting actress (drama) are: Oscar and Golden Globe winner Judi Dench for her work in "Chocolat," Julie Walters for "Billy Elliot," Zeta-Jones in "Traffic." In that category, "Almost Famous" yielded two noms -- one for Frances McDormand and one for ingenue Kate Hudson.
Perhaps to show that drama is really different from comedy, the HFPA also has separate categories for films that are in the lighter and decidedly happier vein.
That said, "Almost Famous" was tapped a best picture (comedy) nom, along with dog show spoof "Best in Show," DreamWorks' "Chicken Run," "Chocolat" and the Coen brothers' epic laughfest "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
The Golden Globes continues to smile on annual Oscar snub Jim Carrey as the actor picks up his Globe nod for his interpretation as the Dr. Seuss miser the Grinch in "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (he won a Globe for both "The Truman Show" and "Man on the Moon" the past two years). Going up against Mr. Rubberface himself will be George Clooney ("O Brother, Where Art Thou?), John Cusack ("High Fidelity"), Robert De Niro ("Meet the Parents") and Mel Gibson ("What Women Want").
And if Carrey is the Globes golden boy, then Sandra Bullock might be the awards' dream girl. However uncannily, the actress (who was nominated for "While You Were Sleeping") picked up a best actress (comedy or musical) nom for "Miss Congeniality." Juliette Binoche from "Chocolat," Brenda Blethyn from the marijuana-minded "Saving Grace," Tracey Ullman from "Small Time Crooks" and Renee Zellweger from "Nurse Betty" are also nominees in the category.
Besides Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," the best foreign film category is filled with titles that are obscure at best, unknown in the least. Going fist-to-fist against Lee's martial-arts flick (which failed to nab a best film nod) are "Amores Perros" from Mexico, "The Hundred Steps" and "Malena," both from Italy, and the French flick "The Widow of St. Pierre."
On the television front, the best series (drama) race will pit ratings buster "ER" (NBC) against "CSI" (CBS), "The Practice" (ABC), "The Sopranos" (HBO) and multiple Emmy winner "The West Wing" (NBC).
And "Ally McBeal" (Fox), "Frasier" (NBC), "Malcolm in the Middle" (Fox), "Sex and the City (HBO) and "Will & Grace" (NBC) will duke it out in the best series (comedy) realm. "Will & Grace" is this year's Emmy champ.
The Globes, in somewhat of a surprise move, nominated Sarah Michelle Gellar for the WB's "Buffy the Vampire" and Jessica Alba of Fox's "Dark Angel" in the best actress (drama) category. Joining them are Lorraine Bracco (HBO's "The Sopranos"), Amy Brenneman (CBS' "Judging Amy") and Edie Falco (also HBO's "The Sopranos").
Of special note is Robert Downey Jr.'s nomination for best supporting actor for "Ally McBeal." His future, however, on the Fox comedy series has been hanging in the balance since his recent run-ins with drugs and the law. Downey is nominated along with Sean Hayes of "Will & Grace" (NBC) John Mahoney and David Hyde Pierce of "Frasier" (NBC), Christopher Plummer of "American Tragedy" (CBS) and Bradley Whitford of "The West Wing" (NBC).
Winners of the 58th Annual Golden Globes will be announced Jan. 21 in an NBC telecast.