You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘The Nun’ to Conjure Huge $40 Million-Plus Debut

As the summer movie season officially came to a close, a pair of darker titles are hoping to terrorize the domestic box office this weekend.

Estimates show “The Nun,” the fifth installment in “The Conjuring” series, launching with $36 million to $45 million when it debuts in over 2,850 locations. Some tracking suggests that’s too modest, and the film could make well over $50 million during its opening weekend. That would be a monstrously good start considering the low price tag typically attached to horror flicks. Buzz already seems strong as “The Nun” is currently outpacing all previous “Conjuring” movies combined in Fandango’s presales, the ticketing service reported on Wednesday. According to Fandango, it is also dominating previous horror hits “Get Out” and “A Quiet Place” in advanced sales at the same point in those film’s sales cycles.

If “The Nun” is able to reach the higher end of projections, it would rank as a franchise-best debut. The first installment, 2013’s “The Conjuring,” currently holds that title with a $41.8 million opening. The first four movies in Warner Bros.’ “Conjuring” franchise — “The Conjuring,” “Annabelle,” “The Conjuring 2,” and “Annabelle: Creation” — have generated over $1.1 billion globally.

“The Nun” is a spinoff of “The Conjuring 2.” It’s set in Romania in 1951 and stars Demian Bichir and Taissa Farmiga as a Catholic priest and a novice who are sent to the Vatican to investigate the mysterious suicide of a nun. Gary Dauberman, who previously wrote “Annabelle,” “Annabelle: Creation,” and “It,” penned the script, which was directed by Corin Hardy.

A mid-$30 million bow should easily be enough to top the North American box office. If that’s the case, it will be the fifth weekend in a row that Warner Bros. has dominated multiplexes. “The Meg,” the studio’s big-budget shark thriller, launched well over expectations to secure the crown at the beginning of August, while acclaimed romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians” has maintained its reign at No. 1 over the past three weekends.

Meanwhile, STX and Lakeshore Entertainment are banking on audiences having a ravenous appetite for thrills. The studio anticipates that “Peppermint,” an R-rated action thriller starring Jennifer Garner, will generate between $10 million and $15 million at 2,800 locations.

Garner returns to form as an action star in the genre that catapulted her to stardom. In “Peppermint,” Garner plays vigilante after her husband and young daughter are suddenly gunned down and killed. Before stepping behind the camera for “Peppermint,” director Pierre Morel previously helmed the highly successful “Taken” franchise with Liam Neeson. The studio envisions “Peppermint” as a continuation of “Taken,” but with a female protagonist. Chad St. John (“London Has Fallen”) wrote the script.

STX’s last venture, “The Happytime Murders” with Melissa McCarthy, majorly whiffed. The bawdy R-rated comedy opened with $9 million (the lowest start for a McCarthy film) and has picked up $18 million to date. It seems unlikely the $40 million film will end up in the black.

The final new entry is a faith-based drama that could serve as counter-programming against the darker R-rated titles. “God Bless the Broken Road,” based on the hit Rascal Flatts song, is aiming for a single-digit debut around $3 million. It tells the story of a young mother who loses her husband in Afghanistan and is left to raise their young daughter. The cast includes “American Idol” alum Jordin Sparks, Robin Givens, Lindsay Pulsipher, and former NFL player LaDainian Tomlinson.

Last March, another Christian drama based on a popular song, “I Can Only Imagine,” far exceeded expectations. The Lionsgate and Roadside Attraction film grossed $85 million worldwide against a $7 million price tag.

This weekend will prove no match for the same frame last September when Andy Muschietti’s “It” surprised with a massive $123 million debut. Warner Bros. and New Line’s record-shattering hit went on to earn over $700 million worldwide. A sequel, “It: Chapter 2,” is currently in the works.

Summer movie season fielded a number of overperforming hits, including “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” putting the box office 9.9% ahead of last year, according to comScore.

More Film

  • SpiderMan Far From Home

    Hollywood Takes on Italy's Vacation-Heavy Summer Season With Blockbusters

    With upcoming movies such as “Toy Story 4,” “Men in Black: International” and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” Hollywood studios are finally taking the plunge this year and slotting their blockbusters in Italian cinemas during the summer, a time when residents traditionally hit the beach en masse. For decades, the studios withheld their [...]

  • Easy Money

    Netflix Orders 'Snabba Cash' Series Based on Hit Movie Franchise from SF Studios

    Netflix has ordered a six-part original series based on the hit Swedish crime franchise “Snabba Cash” from SF Studios. Based on Jens Lapidus’s bestselling novels, the series is set in Stockholm’s gritty criminal underground ten years after the events depicted in the “Snabba Cash” (“Easy Money,” pictured) movie trilogy. The society has become even more [...]

  • The Kings Man

    Film News Roundup: Disney Sets 'The King's Man' Spy Comedy for February

    In today’s film news roundup, “The King’s Man” and “A Kid From Coney Island” get release dates, and “Barry” star Anthony Carrigan joins “Bill & Ted Face the Music.” RELEASE DATE Disney has set its Fox spy comedy prequel “The King’s Man” for release on Feb. 14, 2020. Disney made the announcement Wednesday at its [...]

  • Shyrakshy: Guardian of the Light

    Shanghai Film Review: 'Shyrakshy: Guardian of the Light'

    The bombastic English title might sound like it describes some comic book sci-fi epic, but in “Shyrakshy: Guardian of the Light” our hero does not wear a cape but a weathered cap, and the light he guards is not an interstellar death ray but the flickering beam of a battered old movie projector. Prominent Kazakh [...]

  • Wanda Film's Zeng Maojun

    Shanghai: China's Once-Mighty Wanda Casts Itself in Role of Survivor

    The soundtrack for the introductory showreel at Wednesday evening’s Shanghai press event announcing Wanda Pictures’ annual line-up was aspirational and strangely defiant.  It began with Nina Simone crooning, “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good,” and then continued with “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child. “You [...]

  • 'The Souvenir' Costume Designer Fashioned 1980s'

    'The Souvenir' Costume Designer Put a Decadent Twist on Opulent ’80s Style

    Set against the backdrop of London’s early-1980s cultural renaissance, British auteur Joanna Hogg’s exquisitely sculpted and critically acclaimed “The Souvenir,” which A24 has been widening in platform release for the past month, follows film student Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) and her gradually destructive romance with the magnetic Anthony (Tom Burke). “We didn’t want a film [...]

  • Anne Hathaway

    Crew Member Stabbed on Set of Anne Hathaway's 'The Witches' in England

    A crew member has been stabbed in the neck on the set of Anne Hathaway’s “The Witches” remake, which is being shot at the Warner Bros. Studios stages in Leavesden, Hertfordshire. The Hertfordshire Constabulary said in a statement that the victim was hospitalized and his alleged attacker was arrested. The two men are believed to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content