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The Conjuring Haunts Competition

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Time Warner's (TWX - Get Report) The Conjuring outstripped expectations as other new releases fell below forecasts this past weekend.

The Conjuring, following a pair of paranormal investigators tasked with exorcising an evil spirit terrorizing a family, brought in $41.53 million in its opening weekend. Wells Fargo analysts had only expected the film to generate $35 million.

Wells Fargo analysts, led by Marci Ryvicker, wrote on July 19th that "TWX's [Time Warner's] strong marketing effort and a lack of direct competition should help take the top spot this weekend." The Conjuring is expected to bring in another $59 million over the next 6 weeks.

Turbo, Red 2, and R.I.P.D. were the other three major releases to hit the theaters this weekend. Turbo, put out by Fox Studios (FOXA), fell short of knocking the animated children's movie Despicable Me 2 out of second place. Despicable Me 2 tacked on another $25 million, totaling $276.1 million in box office receipts so far, beating Turbo's opening of $21.5 million. Summit Entertainment's Red 2 and R.I.P.D. both managed to be passed by already released films. Grown Ups 2 and Pacific Rim continued to generate receipts, keeping Red 2 and R.I.P.D. in 5th and 7th place, respectively. All three new releases fell about $6 million short of Well Fargo's expectations.

The new films managed to knock The Lone Ranger, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain Myself, White House Down and This is The End out of the top ten.

Time Warner's (TWX - Get Report) shares rose 0.7% to close at $62.22 on back of The Conjuring's success. Lionsgate (LGF) fell more than 1.4% to close at $32.16 on back Red 2's disappointing performance. Comcast (CMCSA) , the company that owns Despicable Me's Universal Studios, added 0.8% to close up at $44.93.

Time Warner also led the same weekend last year, releasing The Dark Night Rises. The Christopher Nolan directed Batman film, starring Christian Bale, generated $191 million in its first weekend.

-- Written by Robert Arenella in New York

To contact the writer of this article, click here: Robert Arenella.

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