By SANDY COHEN
AP Entertainment Writer
Moviegoers were ready for a fright this weekend, sending “The Conjuring” into first place at the box office.
The Warner Bros. haunted-house horror–based on a true story–debuted with $41.5 million in North American ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. Starring Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, Patrick Wilson and Ron Livingston, “The Conjuring” unseated three-week box-office champ, “Despicable Me 2,” which dropped to second place with $25 million.
The Adam Sandler produced Sony comedy “Grown Ups 2,” starring Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Salma Hayek, held onto fourth place in its second week of release, earning $20 million.
Summit Entertainment’s “Red 2,” which stars Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren as retired CIA operatives, debuted in fifth with $18.5 million. But Universal’s big-budget crime caper “R.I.P.D.” opened with a disappointing $12.76 million. The film reportedly cost more than $130 million to make.
The Jeff Bridges-Ryan Reynolds picture joins other big-budget summer flops such as “Pacific Rim,” “White House Down” and “The Lone Ranger.”
Overall box office totals are up, though, said Paul Dergarabedian of box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
He said the film cost about $19.5 million to make.
Still, there was no chance for this weekend’s movies to match box-office totals for the same weekend last summer, when “The Dark Knight Rises” opened with $161 million domestically.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.
1. “The Conjuring,” $41.5 million.
2. “Despicable Me 2,” $25 million.
3. “Turbo,” $21.5 million.
4. “Grown Ups 2,” $20 million.
5. “Red 2,” $18.5 million.
6. “Pacific Rim,” $15.95 million.
7. “R.I.P.D.,” $12.76 million.
8. “The Heat,” $9.3 million.
9. “World War Z,” $5.2 million.
10. “Monsters University,” $5 million.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.