The Conjuring Scares Big Budget Movies; The Wolverine Is Long In The Tooth - Weeks 12 & 13 | Iron Man 3 | Despicable Me 2 | Man of Steel

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The Conjuring Scares Big Budget Movies; The Wolverine Is Long In The Tooth - Weeks 12 & 13

Iron Man 3
Despicable Me 2
Man of Steel
Monsters University
Fast & Furious 6
The Conjuring
Grown Ups 2
The Wolverine
Pacific Rim
So, whoever had Week 12 as the week the summer catches up to me and I bail on getting an update out wins the "How Long Will It Take for Matt to be a Lame-O" pool.

Here's what you missed in Week 12: The lowest budgeted film blew the doors off three mistimed miscues.

The Conjuring conjured all the same fans who flocked to The Purge last month and then added another $7 million for good measure. Scaring the studio execs who paid millions more for millions less, this ghost tale totaled $41.9 million which was more than the next two new movies made combined. Remember that nonsense I was spewing before about how horror movies don't usually play well during the summer months? Well, maybe it's just tired horror movies that stink. Give people some fresh stories with some fresh scares and there's definitely folks that prefer riding the roller coaster for 90 minutes as opposed to standing in line for 90 minutes for a single 90 second roller coaster ride.

Turbo ran out of gas fast with a meager $21.3 million weekend (5-day $31 million total), making it two out of three DreamWorks that have stalled at the start in the last nine months (Rise of the Guardians being the other "eh" release. The Croods was a hit.) Was it just the might of Despicable Me 2 that left no room for any other kid pix or was it the "Haven't we just seen this racing stuff with Cars twice over the past few years?" that didn't excite anyone? If it's the latter, we'll see how that fairs for Disney's rocky attempt to rip-off themselves with their own Cars-world inspired flick, Planes.

Red 2 turned out blue as whatever charm it felt in the fall season three years ago didn't help it a lick during the summer. Debuting with $18 million, which honestly is only a little lower than the first film started with, there seemed to be no momentum for the flick as it found itself in the toughest weekend possible with four other high profile films. Taylor Swift better be taking notes and make sure she doesn't name her next album Red 2.

And it wouldn't be a weekend of Ryan Reynolds movies if it wasn't a weekend of disappointing Ryan Reynolds movies. After his voice acting poured salt over Turbo's snail track, his live-action (or is that dead-action since most of it takes place after he's dead?) effort R.I.P.D. only rested in pieces with $12.7 million. Apparently combining Beetlejuice and Men in Black isn't exactly what people are looking for. Then again, if stuff like Keeping Up With The Kardashians is what people are looking for, I'm probably better off in the afterlife.

As to the continuing films, Despicable Me 2 freeze-rayed the direct competition from Turbo and only fell 43.3%. Grown-Ups 2 slipped 50% as it looks to miss the Grown Ups 1 total, yet still sit pretty (pretty not meant to be taken literally here) with a respectable (respectable not meant to be taken literally here) run. Meanwhile, Pacific Rim starts to get washed away with a 57% drop. Too bad mankind couldn't make a robot big enough to stop the attack on their box-office numbers.

With Week 12 recapped, let's try a slice of Week 13 where Huge Jackman and Canada's greatest superhero unite in The Wolverine!

Four years ago X-Men Origins: Wolverine showed the only grumpy Canadian in recorded history had nothing to be grumpy about as it opened with $85.1 million. Now that sourpuss face Huge's been perfecting over the X-Men movies can finally be put to use as the new cleverly-titled go-round, The Wolverine, showed-up with $30 million less after earning a $55 million start. Perhaps the taglines of "This is the Wolverine movie fans have been waiting for" didn't help as it hinted fans had been wasting their money on the previous four efforts. Had execs just been sitting in meetings for years going, "You know, this is exactly the way real fans of Wolverine would like to see him portrayed on screen. Let's scrap this and make him that cranky uncle character again! Focus groups love that guy."

What The Wolverine's fall means to the overall X-Men universe has yet to be determined. X-Men: First Class had a similar $55.1 million origin two years ago and it became the lowest grosser in the series. When 20th Century Fox releases their cast-bending X-Men: Days of Future Past next summer, will this be the "special event" that brings the masses back or has this franchise simply run its course. It's a Francis the Talking Mule in a world of Mr. Ed! Great, now I'm not only pulling out obscure pop culture references from the 50's and 60's, I'm making no sense while doing it.

We'll see if The Wolverine's healing factor helps it regain its footing and lay the groundwork for the upcoming endeavors or if we're left with Patrick Stewart and Huge Jackman singing Gilbert & Sullivan tunes in the Danger Room next time around.

With no other major releases, The Conjuring held great for a horror movie falling 47%. Given the normal 60% + drops for the genre, Warner Bros. will be greatly relieved at making another $22.1 million. That number is still higher than the other three debuts from Week 12 (Turbo, Red 2, and R.I.P.D.). Having communicated with 83.7 million dead dollars so far, pretty much everything they're making here can help offset what they lost on Pacific Rim.

In its fourth week Despicable Me 2 slipped a mere 35%?! Seriously, how many times are families going to take their kids to the same movie?! Don't these kids have videogames and hundreds of episodes of Disney Channel shows on Netflix they could be streaming instead of watching the same thing over and over again? Parents are totally dropping the ball here. DM2 has surpassed $300 million now and looks to be untouchable as the #2 film of the season.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:
#1. Iron Man 3 - $407.2 million
#5. Despicable Me 2 - $306.4 million
#2. Man of Steel - $286.8 million
#3. Monsters University - $255.3 million
#4. Fast & Furious 6 - $237.6 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 07/29/2013

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Despicable Me 2, Fast & Furious 6, Grown Ups 2, Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Monsters University, Pacific Rim, R.I.P.D., RED 2, The Conjuring, The Wolverine, Turbo
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