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) -

Time Warner's


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.



Red 2

, and


were the other three major releases to hit the theaters this weekend.


, put out by

Fox Studios

(FOXA) - Get Free Report

, 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


opening of $21.5 million. Summit Entertainment's

Red 2



both managed to be passed by already released films.

Grown Ups 2


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


This is The End

out of the top ten.

Time Warner's


shares rose 0.7% to close at $62.22 on back of

The Conjuring's




fell more than 1.4% to close at $32.16 on back

Red 2's

disappointing performance.


(CMCSA) - Get Free Report

, 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