She’s no sister of mercy…
Coming off of a very lucrative summer (second highest total box office ever) fall seems to be carrying that success forward. Normally a lull period ahead of the fall holidays in recent years we have seen this scheduling window expand to accommodate more horror titles to coincide with Halloween.
With September becoming fertile for frights we see now the release of a new entry from a stalwart franchise leading the charge of numerous other examples. In coming weeks there will be “Hell Fest”, “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween”, and then the latest reboot of the “Halloween” slasher classic, as well as similarly-themed “Venom” and a reboot of “The Predator”. Time to get your freak on.
THE NUN – $53.50 Million
The ever-expanding “Conjuring” universe shows no sign of fatigue with audiences, this one making for the third consecutive release from Warners to debut at the top this title. Becoming the second spinoff from that horror property, following the two “Annabelle” movies which had their own measure of success, a quality effort in horror can pay off large dividends. Focusing on the evil spirit featured in “The Conjuring 2” it does not feature Ed and Lorraine Warren from the series but serves as a spectral origin story. Continued entries are already slated to be made. Projections for the title have been scaled upward repeatedly in the past couple of weeks, coming into this weekend with a new projection of $50 million. The surprising aspect of this performance is that is it weathered both poor reviews (28% on RottenTomatoes) and unenthusiastic audience grades (the CinemaScore of “C” is lowest in the franchise.) Not only does this make for the best opening of any “Conjuring” title, it stands in the top-5 all time of best opening for a horror title.
2. CRAZY RICH ASIANS – $13.6m
The surprise comedy hit remains a popular selection. Dipping only -40% after a month it has drawn over $135 million already. These crazy receipts have led the studio to announce a sequel is in the works.
3. PEPPERMINT – $13.26m
Jennifer Garner returns to her action roots in this revenge-porn thriller about a mother who seeks vengeance on a drug cartel with the murders of her family. It has been measured against “Mile 22” from this summer for a comparative, and coming in slightly below that disappointing release is a fairly bad indicator.
4. THE MEG – $6.03m
The prehistoric shark hit is still trolling for dollars, earning $130 million stateside, and it has been a huge splash internationally, adding another $350 million from foreign territories. We can expect a new fin breaking the surface in the future.
5. SEARCHING – $4.51m
Sony’s genre thriller has performed decently against modest expectations. Here it falls only -25% following last week’s expansion and adding another 800 screens this week.
6. MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT – $3.8m
Ironically in the movie where Tom Cruise broke his ankle it is showing to have serious legs. After seven weeks in release it remains in over 2,300 screens as it has made over $200 million. Overseas it has been a blowout as well, totaling another $500 million.
7. DISNEY’S CHRISTOPHER ROBIN – $3.19 million
While never showing explosive performance this title has in fact lingered enough for The House of Mouse to watch it crawl steadily towards a possible $100 million total.
8. OPERATION FINALE – $3.04m
The true-life story of Mossad searching for Adolf Eichmann has struggled to find an audience.
9. ALPHA – $2.5m
Sony/Studio 8 have stood by this effort, as it remains in near 1,500 screens after a month while performing tepidly. They need to wring that shammy for every drop of dollars to earn back its budget.
10. BLACKkKLANSMAN – $1.56m
Spike Lee’s based-on-true-events drama has garnered enough interest that now the studio begins lobbying to have it considered for Academy Award nominations.