Box Office

Weekend BO Report: ‘The Nun’ Delivers A Heavenly Franchise-Best $54m Opening

Written by Dapo Olowu

This weekend saw ‘The Nun’s holy ascent up to first place in the Box Office charts, with Corin Hardy’s supernatural prequel earning a scary $53.8m in its 3-day debut, smashing ‘The Conjuring’ franchise’s (better known as the CCU) opening record. All praise be to ‘The Nun’, it seems, as its now the biggest horror opening of the year, and the 4th biggest of all time in the States.

Not bad for a film with just 27% on the Tomatometer.

It’s especially remarkable once you realise that the CCU wasn’t initially planned as a franchise, but only came to existence due to the popularity of ‘The Conjuring’. The first spinoff, 2014s ‘Annabelle’, was helmed by ‘The Conjuring’ cinematographer John R. Leonetti, and grossed $257m worldwide. Fast-forward 4 years and newest edition ‘The Nun’, should easily topple that gross by the end of its BO run.

Its overseas earnings are just as impressive. Opening in around 60 countries, the horror, starring Taissa Farmiga (sister to ‘The Conjuring’ actress Vera Farmiga) and Demián Bichir, reached number one in 54 of them, including the U.K. with $5.3m. A near-$80m international start gives the film $133.1m after just 3 days, leaving it a highly profitable investment – off of a $22m budget – for Warner Bros.

The studio hoped to be the first in over 25 years to hold the top 2 places on the BO charts for four consecutive weeks, but fell short at the final hurdle, as ‘Crazy Rich Asians$13.1m wasn’t enough to stay ahead of new release ‘Peppermint’s $13.4m, but still saw more than double that of fellow WB-er ‘The Meg’ ($6.1m).

It was a familiar story for the vigilante-action flick ‘Peppermint’, opening on-par to genre-matching ‘Death Wish’ ($13m), and ‘The Foreigner’ ($13.1m). Its B+ on Cinemascore was furthered its similarities with the pair, and now Pierre Morel’s latest offering will likely finish in the $35m region domestically (again, like the two films). Its R rating predictably drew in the older crowd, with 78% of the opening weekend audience above 25 years old – providing perfect counter-viewing for ‘The Nun’, which saw just 44% of its watchers over 25.

This marks a solid year for Jennifer Garner, whose last film ‘Love Simon’ legged out from a $11.8m start to finish on $40.8m domestically and $66.3m worldwide. John Cho-fronted ‘Searching’ hopes for similar luck, and is currently on track for a domestic finish close to $30m, with its $4.6m weekend. The thriller, now at $32.5m worldwide, beat out ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ as predicted ($3.9m), but the latter now stands at a whopping $726.7m globally, now officially Tom Cruise’s biggest film in his career thus far.

New release ‘God Bless the Broken Road’ flattered to deceive, pulling in a wretched $1.4m from 1,300 theatres, for a per-cinema average of just $1.1k. Although many forecasted an opening closer to ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’s weekend ($3.4m) or even ‘Operation Finale’ ($2.9m), it ended up grossing nearly half of ‘BlacKkKlansman’ ($2.6m) and ‘Alpha’ ($2.5m), for an 11th place finish.

With ‘The Nun’ breaking records just as Andy Muschietti’s ‘It’ did exactly a year ago, just how far can this film go in the Box Office? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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