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

  • Noe Debre On His Directorial Debut,

    Top French Screenwriter Noe Debre Make Directorial Debut, ‘The Seventh Continent’

    This last half-decade, few French screenwriters have run up such an illustrious list of co-write credits as Noé Debré. Thomas Bedigain’s writing partner on Jacques Audiard’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Deephan,” Debra co-penned Bedigain’s own debut, “The Cowboys,” “Racer and the Jailbird,” by Michael Roskam, and “Le Brio,” directed by Yvan Attal. He has now [...]

  • Julien Trauman Talks Survival-Thriller Short ‘At

    Julien Trauman on Survival-Thriller Short ‘At Dawn’

    France’s Julien Trauman has never been afraid to play with genre, and in his latest short, the MyFrenchFilmFestival participant “At Dawn,” he employs aspects of psychological thriller, survival, coming-of-age and fantasy filmmaking. “At Dawn” kicks off the night before when a group of teens, one about to leave town, are imbibing heavily around a beach-side [...]

  • ‘Flowers’ Director Baptiste Petit-Gats Interview

    Baptiste Petit-Gats: ‘Editing Taught Me How to Write for Film’

    France’s Baptiste Petit-Gats is an hyphenate that keeps himself plenty busy editing, photographing, writing and directing. The bulk of his editing gigs up until now have been in documentary film work, evident in the way he shot and edited his own short film, participating in the MyFrenchFilmFestival, “Flowers.” In the film, Petit-Gats tells the heartbreaking [...]

  • Fanny Litard, Jérémy Trouilh on ‘Blue

    France’s Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh Discuss MyFFF Suburban Fable ‘Blue Dog’

    French filmmakers Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh met at university while studying political science before diverging towards separate careers. Trouilh trained in documentary filmmaking; Liatard worked on urban artistic projects in Lebanon and France. They eventually joined back up to film three shorts: “Gagarine,” a Sundance Channel Shorts Competition Jury Prize winner in 2016; “The [...]

  • MFFF: 'The Collection' Director Blanchard Readies

    'The Collection' Director Emmanuel Blanchard Readies First Feature

    Paris-born Emmanuel Blanchard studied and then taught history before becoming a documentary filmmaker responsible for films such as “Bombing War,” “Le diable de la République” and “Après la guerre.” He’s currently directing “Notre-Dame de Paris”, a 90-minute animated part-doc, part-fiction film on the building of the world-famous Paris cathedral. Competing at MyFFF, “The Collection” is [...]

  • Dragon Ball Super: Broly

    Film Review: ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’

    Late in “Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” the 20th Japanese anime feature in a 35-year-old franchise that also has spawned scads of TV series, trading cards, video games, mangas, and limited-edition collectibles, a supporting character complains, “I don’t understand a single thing you’ve said the whole time.” If you’re among the heretofore uninitiated drawn to this [...]

  • Loco Films Boards 'Paper Flag' From

    Loco Films Boards 'Paper Flag' From Promising New Director Nathan Ambrosioni (EXCLUSIVE)

    Loco Films has come on board “Paper Flag” (“Les Papiers de drapeaux”), the feature debut of 18-year old French director Nathan Ambrosioni. The film explores the ambivalent relationship between two siblings and the concept of freedom. Guillaume Gouix (“The Returned”) stars as a young adult who has just got out of jail after 12 years [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content