Will "R.I.P.D." go down as the biggest flop of the summer?
It's hard to make the distinction, given the number of big-budget misfires that have landed in theaters this season. But according to distributor Universal Pictures, the $130-million action-comedy grossed just $12.8 million, only good enough for a seventh-place finish.
Is that worse than the recent $29.2-million launch for the $225-million "The Lone Ranger"? Depends on how you slice it. But either way, the opening for "R.I.P.D." is bad — especially when you consider that the 3-D film starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges lost out to "The Conjuring," a horror film that only cost $20 million to produce.
The low-budget flick directed by James Wan was easily the weekend's No. 1, grossing $41.5 million in its debut. On Thursday, pre-release audience surveys suggested the picture would start off with no more than $30 million.
"The Conjuring" also beat out "Turbo," the $135-million 3-D animated film featuring a garden snail. The DreamWorks Animation production launched in third place with a lackluster $21.5 million — the lowest debut for a film from Jeffrey Katzenberg's studio since 2006's "Flushed Away," not adjusting for inflation.
The fourth new film to hit theaters this weekend, the adult-aimed, action-filled "Red 2," had a decent opening of $18.5 million — roughly $3.3 million behind the launch of the 2010 original.
"The Conjuring" is the latest in a string of lower-budget films that have beaten out pricier competitors at the box office this summer. "The Lone Ranger" lost out to the $76-million "Despicable Me 2" earlier this month, while the $58-million "The Internship" failed to beat the $3.5-million "The Purge" in June.