Box office: ‘The Conjuring’ rips ‘R.I.P.D.’ and ‘Red 2’ on Friday

“The Conjuring” is haunting the box office this weekend. 

The James Wan-directed ghost story over-performed on Friday, scaring up a whopping $17 million and leaving a slew of fellow new releases in its wake. Universal’s pricey “R.I.P.D.” is D.O.A., while “Red 2” is seeing red and “Turbo” seems to be stuck in neutral.

“The Conjuring” is heading for a weekend take of around $41 million, which is well ahead of initial studio estimates. Costing just $20 million to produce, the film stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor, and seems to be benefitting from positive reviews and strong word-of-mouth. 

The film’s success is bad new for the new supernatural comedy “R.I.P.D.,” however.

Starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, “R.I.P.D.” is the last big budget domestic flop in a summer littered with them. In the recent tradition of “White House Down,” “The Lone Ranger” and “Pacific Rim,” “R.I.P.D.” is opening to grossly disappointing domestic numbers. It earned just $4.8 million on Friday, placing it in sixth place. It will likely earn a paltry sum between $12 million and 13 million for the weekend. 

The film is officially budgeted at $130 million, but some reports say it was closer to $200 million, and it’s on its way to becoming the biggest bomb of the summer. Universal seemed to know it had a dud on its hands, however, running a muted marketing campaign and playing down tracking. 

Fortunately, the studio is lucky to have “Despicable Me 2,” which came in second place on Friday after picking up another $7.5 million. The animated sequel has so far earned a huge $258.6 million domestically, and half a billion worldwide. 

“Despicable Me 2” is making life extremely hard for the new animated film “Turbo” (which happens to feature the voice of “R.I.P.D.’s” Reynolds). The DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox film picked up $6.5 million for third place on Friday. Since opening on Wednesday, “Turbo” has slowly made its way to a domestic take of $16.2 million. It will earn around $21 million for the weekend, a low number for a DWA title. 

At no. 4, the Adam Sandler comedy holdover “Grown Ups 2” made off with another $6.4 million Friday, and has so far earned $65.9 million. 

By now, Summit must be realizing they made a mistake by moving “Red 2” from August 2 to this weekend. It was originally tracking at $22 to 25 million, but competition is proving to be too stiff for the sequel. With “Conjuring” taking away a huge chunk of its intended audience, “Red 2” placed fifth on Friday with a disappointing $6.3 million and will likely make just $18 million for the weekend, somewhat less than the $21.7 earned by the 2010 original.

Look for complete weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.