‘The Conjuring’ Earns $17 Million On Friday

The Conjuring is shaping up to be the movie to beat at the box office this weekend.

James Wan’s latest horror movie is proving to be a bit more popular than some industry insiders predicted. The fright flick earned a whopping $17 million on Friday, pushing its domestic total to an estimated $20.3 million.

Entertainment Weekly reports that this is Wan’s best opening to-date. The director’s first theatrical effort, the 2004 scare flick Saw, earned around $18 million during its first weekend of release.

Analysts currently believe The Conjuring could bring in an impressive $37 million in just three days. This total would surpass Universal Pictures’ The Purge, which is currently the most successful mainstream horror flick released this year.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges flick R.I.P.D. is currently on-track to be a pretty big flop for Universal. The movie only managed to snag $4.8 million on Friday. While this wouldn’t be a problem if the flick was modestly budgeted, the comic book adaptation reportedly cost the studio $130 million to produce.

Unfortunately for Universal, the movie isn’t getting high marks from moviegoers either. The flick’s Cinemascore is currently perched at C+. This means that strong word-of-mouth isn’t going to help rescue this endeavor from the bottom of the box office barrel. Insiders presently believe the film will only make around $12.2 million this weekend.

The star-studded sequel Red 2 is also failing to ensnare the attention of moviegoers. Bruce Willis’ latest action flick only managed to earn around $6.6 million on Friday. This is just slightly ahead of DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo, which generated approximately $6.5 million in receipts.

While some of the new releases are floundering at the box office, Grown Ups 2 and Despicable Me 2 continue to do steady business. Unfortunately for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, it would appear moviegoers have essentially abandoned the big-budget flick in favor of other offerings.

Are you surprised that The Conjuring is shaping up to be this weekend’s number one movie?

[Image via Warner Bros. Pictures]