The Big Picture
- The Nun II had a solid opening weekend at the box office, earning $32.6 million domestically, but fell short of its predecessor’s debut.
- Director Michael Chaves achieved a career-best debut with The Nun II, surpassing the opening numbers of his previous films.
- Reviews and audience reactions for The Nun II have been mixed, which may impact its performance in the following weeks, but the Conjuring Universe has built a strong reputation over time.
After an understandable pandemic-era stumble, The Conjuring Universe appears to be back on track with The Nun II, which claimed the top spot in its debut weekend at the domestic box office. The film grossed an estimated $32.6 million across three days, after debuting with $13.1 million on Friday. While this is a solid-enough opening by franchise standards, it falls short of The Nun’s $53 million debut in 2018. The Nun also went on to become the series’ most successful film at the global box office, with $363 million.
The Nun II’s opening weekend is roughly in the same range as the debut hauls delivered by Annabelle: Creation ($35 million) and Annabelle ($37 million). But this does mark a career-best debut for director Michael Chaves, whose last two films delivered sub-$30 million openings. While The Curse of La Llorona made $26 million in its first weekend, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It delivered a $24 million debut. But it’s worth noting that the movie was released simultaneously on the Max streaming service as a part of Warner Bros’ controversial 2021 release strategy.
Reviews for The Nun II — not that reviews for horror movies have traditionally mattered — have been mixed. The film currently sits at a “rotten” 45% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and it managed only a C+ CinemaScore from opening day audiences, which doesn’t bode well for its future. Horror movies tend to have hefty second-weekend drops, especially when audience reaction isn’t positive. But the franchise has proven itself to be unusually durable and has earned strong goodwill over the years.
A Foreign-Language Hit Found a Spot in the Top Five
Sony’s The Equalizer 3 slipped to the second spot after exceeding expectations with a $42 million debut in its four-day extended opening weekend seven days ago. The movie passed the $50 million mark domestically on Friday and is eying an estimated $11 million haul in its second weekend. This marks a big 66% drop, but the movie is on track to deliver a franchise-best finish — all it needs to do is pass the $102 million lifetime haul of The Equalizer 2 from 2018.
Number three went to another threequel, this week’s debutante My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, which is eying a $10 million opening weekend after generating $3.7 million on Friday. This falls short of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’s $18 million debut in 2016, signaling diminishing returns for the long-running franchise. The first My Big Fat Greek Wedding debuted in 2002 and went on to become a sleeper hit, grossing over $370 million worldwide. But the sequel concluded its global run with under $100 million.
The fourth spot went to India’s Jawan, starring Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan. The action-drama is delivering record-breaking numbers for a Bollywood film back in its home country and worldwide. The film opened on Thursday when it made $1.3 million and added $1.7 million on Friday. It’s eying a $7.5 million four-day debut. Globally, Jawan is nearing the $50 million mark, and should comfortably pass $60 million once final numbers come in tomorrow. Holdover blockbuster Barbie took the fifth spot with roughly $5.9 million in its eighth weekend, as it hit the $620 million mark domestically. Stay tuned to Collider for more updates!
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