'The Conjuring' claim No. 1 in North America

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The R-rated thrillers have turned out in force in North America recently, as the latest entry "The Conjuring" beat up "Despicable Me 2" to nab the top slot over the weekend with ease.

"The Conjuring," a thriller from Warner Bros., opened with a 41. 5 million U.S. dollars gate in 2,903 theaters, 22 percent stronger than the similar flick "The Purge" which had a 34.06 million- dollar debut.

Helped by strong reviews and marketing drives, the film earned 85 percent approval rating from reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a coveted "A-" CinemaScore from first-night moviegoers.

All these serve as a strong sign that the James Wan-helmed project starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Lili Taylor will have a strong performance in the future.

The horror film was inspired by the true-life story of the Perron family, who claimed they "lived among the dead" in the 1970s as spirits both friendly and sinister inhabited their Rhode Island farmhouse.

Universal Pictures release "Despicable Me 2" was in second place with a 25 million dollar weekend. The Illumination Entertainment production, a 3-D animated family comedy, has grossed 276.2 million dollars in North America during three weeks of showings.

Debuting in No. 3 is "Turbo," a DreamWorks Animation project which had a 31.2 million-dollar gate. The PG-rated animated film tells about an ordinary garden snail whose dream to become the fastest snail in the world comes true. Those who have seen it liked it, assigning a promising "A" CinemaScore to it.

Sony/Columbia comedy "Grown Ups 2" finished in No. 4 with a 20 million dollar weekend.

Opening in No. 5 is Lionsgate's "Red 2," a Bruce Willis vehicle which is estimated to roll up 18.5 million dollars worth of tickets.

The sequel to the 2010 film earned a "B+" rating on CinemaScore. It skewed towards male fans (52 percent) and those older than 35 ( 67 percent). It deals with retired C.I.A. agent Frank Moses ( played by Willis) who reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives in search of a missing portable nuclear device.

Rounding out the 10 most popular films in North America this weekend, as estimated by the studios, were "Pacific Rim"16 million dollars), "R.I.P.D." (debuting at 12.7 million dollars), "The Heat " (9.3 million dollars), "World War Z" (5.2 million dollars), and "Monsters University" (5 million dollars).

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