Fall is upon us - high temperatures be damned - and the season started off with a bang for the horror genre at the box office. The Nun II, the latest entry in The Conjuring universe, served as the weekend’s big new release, and it managed to easily trounce the competition, debuting atop the charts. With a $32.6 million opening weekend haul domestically, the film kicked last week’s champion, director Antoine Fuqua’s action flick The Equalizer 3, to number two. Take that, Denzel Washington.
The sequel to 2018’s The Nun also did sizable business overseas, taking in $55.5 million internationally. That gives it a grand total of $88.1 million after its opening frame. Given the film’s budget, which is estimated to be in the $40 million range, this marks yet another win for Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema within this golden goose franchise. It has been remarkably consistent over the last decade, dating back to James Wan’s The Conjuring in 2013 where this all began. Don’t be surprised if The Nun 3 is announced sooner rather than later.
Relative to other films in The Conjuring universe, The Nun II opened towards the middle of the pack. It was nowhere near The Nun, which opened to $53.8 million on its way to a franchise-best $363.3 million finish five years ago. The demon nun Valak reigns supreme. It was far closer to 2017’s Annabelle: Creation, which opened to $35 million en route to a $305.3 million global finish. The numbers being what they are, the sequel should easily make it to $200 million worldwide before all’s said and done. Even if it’s not nearly as big as its predecessor, it’s still the kind of hit any studio would kill to have.
Directed by Michael Chaves (The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It) the follow-up once again stars Bonnie Aarons as Valak, with Taissa Farmiga reprising her role as Sister Irene from the first film. Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing (The Autopsy of Jane Doe) penned the screenplay with Akela Cooper (M3GAN). The synopsis for the sequel reads as follows:
“1956 – France. A priest is murdered. An evil is spreading. The sequel to the worldwide smash hit follows Sister Irene as she once again comes face-to-face with Valak, the demon nun.”
To date, The Conjuring universe has generated more than $2 billion at the global box office across eight films. While some lump The Curse of La Llorona into the universe, the studio and the powers that be do not officially count it as part of the franchise, even if it shares some connective tissue. That aside, this has been one of the most consistent hit-making franchises of the last decade. So long as WB can keep the budgets reasonable enough, it seems there is still plenty of gas in the tank.
The Nun II is in theaters now.