The summer may be over, but the big Box Office hitters keep stepping up to the plate as Warner Bros’ ‘The Nun’ looks to keep the high-grossing momentum going. 2018s summer, which culminated in a threepeat win for rom-com ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, marked a 14% rise from a year ago and shows no signs of slowing down, with Corin Hardy’s horror expecting to gross over $40m from 3,876 cinemas in its first 3 days – a potential franchise record.
It’s the latest in the highly successful ‘Conjuring Cinematic Universe’, or the CCU (coined by yours truly). The franchise currently houses the 7th, 8th, and 9th biggest horror movies of all time globally in ‘The Conjuring 2’ ($320.4m), ‘The Conjuring’ ($319.5m), and 2017s ‘Annabelle: Creation’ ($306.5m). It’s openings continuously straddle the $40m boundary, with the biggest being ‘The Conjuring’s $41.9m in 2013, and does this regardless of critical reception, meaning that ‘The Nun’s 32% on the Tomatometer (which isn’t the worst in the franchise) remains largely irrelevant.
With American ticket-seller Fandango reporting pre-sales to not only be over that of ‘A Quiet Place’ (that saw a $50m opening in April) but to be greater than the combined sales of the entire CCU, we could even be tempted to push our forecasts closer to $60m, by far a franchise-best. The film stars Taissa Farmiga and Demián Bichir as Sister Irene and Father Burke, who, in 50s Romania, are sent to investigate supernatural happenings in a Monastery.
Although it won’t reach the standards set by horror counter-part ‘It’ exactly 12 months ago, ‘The Nun’ will continue a successful period for Warner Bros after recent hits ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘The Meg’. It’ll mark the 5th weekend in a row where WB have topped the charts, and last weekend’s winner ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ aims to double the studio’s delight by earning $17m for second place. Nearly a month into its release, it now has a strong chance of equaling ‘Black Panther’s superb feat of remaining in the top 10 for 13 consecutive weekends.
This weekend also sees the release of STXEntertainment’s newest flick ‘Peppermint’, starring Jennifer Garner. Unlike ‘The Nun’, this vigilante-action film isn’t critic-proof, and its less-than-fresh 10% on Rotten Tomatoes will surely hinder any chances of a Box Office breakout. Director Pierre Morel, of ‘Taken’ fame, will hope it performs much like the Liam Neeson blockbuster, but will probably open closer to his next effort, ‘From Paris With Love’ ($8.2m), and likely match the similarly-themed ‘Proud Mary’s $10m.
Thriller ‘Searching’ expands into over 2,000 cinemas this weekend, which will see it leapfrog ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ with a gross around $5.5m, compared to ‘Fallout’s $5m. This won’t be enough to challenge ‘The Meg’ ($6.6m) for fourth place however, but will add some breathing room between it and last week’s newbie ‘Operation Finale’ ($3.6m).
The final new release of the week comes in the form of ‘not-quite-a-Christian-drama’ ‘God Bless The Broken Road’, directed by ‘God’s Not Dead’ helmer Harold Cronk. Based off a song (like March’s $83.5m breakout ‘I Can Only Imagine’) and starring Jordin Sparks, its 1,235 cinema count and 17% Rotten Tomatoes score won’t bless its Box Office numbers this weekend. An opening close to $2m won’t be enough to make the top ten, as it falls behind ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’ ($3.5m), ‘Alpha’, and ‘BlacKkKlansman’ (both $2.7m).
All good things come to an end, as ‘The Nun’ seems likely to break ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ stay at the top. Could it really open to over $50m though, or will it fall short like its franchise predecessors? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.