SAN DIEGO -- 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 Conjuring was among four new releases tempting moviegoers this weekend. The newest animated offering, Fox's Turbo, opened with $21.5 million, good for third place. Fox's head of domestic distribution, Chris Aronson, characterized the opening as "a very promising start," noting the film won't open in Europe until the fall.
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, After Earth and The Lone Ranger.
-- The Associated Press