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Box Office: ‘The Nun’ to Earn $50 Million in ‘Conjuring’ Franchise’s Best Debut

The Nun” is heading for a scary-good opening weekend, with an estimated $50 million from 3,876 domestic sites.

The Warner Bros. gothic horror flick earned $20.2 million from 60 international markets Friday, bringing its overseas cume to $32.1 million. Should the opening estimate hold, “The Nun” will mark the “Conjuring” universe’s best debut.

Earlier estimates had placed “The Nun” in a lower range between $36 million and $45 million. 2013’s “The Conjuring” had previously held the best North American opening of the franchise with $41.9 million, eventually accumulating $137 million domestically.

Taissa Farmiga stars in the “Conjuring 2” spin-off as a young novitiate who is sent to Romania in 1952 along with a priest (Demián Bichir) to investigate the mysterious suicide of a nun at a convent. Corin Hardy directed the film from Gary Dauberman’s script. “The Nun” has earned mixed reviews, with praise for its atmosphere and performances but criticism for its reliance on jump scares. It’s sitting at a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has a C CinemaScore.

Meanwhile, last weekend’s threepeater “Crazy Rich Asians” will tussle with the debut of Jennifer Garner’s “Peppermint” for the second place spot, each looking to bring in around $12 million.

Peppermint” is opening at 2,980 North American locations and performing about in line with earlier estimates, which had pegged it between $10 million and $15 million. It earned an estimated $4.65 million on Friday. Garner plays a caring mother who turns revenge-bent vigilante after her daughter and husband are killed by a cartel. The STX film was directed by Pierre Morel from a screenplay by Chad St. John. It’s sitting at a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a somewhat more optimistic B+ CinemaScore.

Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians,” now in its fourth weekend, has so far amassed $126.4 million domestically, along with $22.7 million overseas.

“The Meg,” starring Jason Statham, continues to be a solid earner for Warner Bros. and is expected to swallow another $5 million in its fifth frame, battling “Searching” for No. 4 on the box office ranking. Jon Turteltaub’s bona fide blockbuster has chomped on $126.8 million domestically and $348.4 million internationally for a grand total of $475.2 million.

“Searching,” which expanded last weekend, should find another $4.6 million this weekend, bringing the Screen Gems film’s total to about $14.4 million by Sunday. John Cho stars as David Kim, a man whose teenage daughter goes missing. After authorities fail to find any solid leads, Kim begins using her laptop to put together clues on where she might be.

Christian drama “God Bless the Broken Road” opens this weekend at 1,235 domestic multiplexes, and is looking to take in around $1.5 million. Freestyle Releasing is distributing the film, which earned $493,000 Friday. Harold Cronk directed “Broken Road,” and co-wrote the script with Jennifer Dornbush. Loosely based on the 1998 song “Bless the Broken Road,” the film stars Lindsay Pulsipher as a young mother struggling to raise her daughter after her husband is killed in the Afghanistan war.

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