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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘The Conjuring 2’ Wards Off ‘Warcraft’ and ‘Now You See Me 2’

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

The 2016 summer box office hit another speed bump this week as two major releases — a sequel and a potential franchise-starter — opened to disappointing numbers. However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Despite the poor starts for Warcraft and Now You See Me 2, The Conjuring 2 opened at number one with the kind of debut that proves modestly budgeted horror movies with R ratings still have a place in the blockbuster months.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Conjuring 2 $40,350,000 $12,070 $40,350,000
2 Warcraft $24,356,000 $7,164 $24,356,000
3 Now You See Me 2 $23,025,000 $7,124 $23,025,000
4 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows $14,800,000 (-58.1) $3,635 $61,039,000
5 X-Men: Apocalypse $10,000,000 (-56.2)
$2,789 $136,374,000
6 Me Before You $9,210,000 (-50.8) $3,335 $36,822,000
7 The Angry Birds Movie $6,700,000 (-34.4) $2,173 $98,169,000
8 Alice Through the Looking Glass $5,544,000 (-51.0) $1,913 $62,437,000
9 Captain America: Civil War $4,300,000 (-45.1) $2,047 $396,857,000
10 The Jungle Book $2,721,000 (-38.8) $1,819 $352,649,000

 

The Conjuring 2’s $40 million opening is about $1 million shy of the 2013 original, but the buzz surrounding the film has been strong enough that it should showcase similar legs to its predecessor. The first cinematic adventure of paranormal researchers Ed and Lorraine Warren ultimately grossed $137 million at the box office, and it’s easy to imagine the sequel pulling similar numbers, especially since the next few weekends won’t offer too much direct competition. Although this film cost more than your average horror movie, it’s going to be hugely profitable when all is said and done. Director James Wan may be taking a break from horror, but a Conjuring 3 feels inevitable.

In second place, Warcraft imploded in its domestic release, grossing only $24 million against a a reported budget of $160 million (although it may be closer to $200 million). Negative reviews and baffled audiences are to blame — the only people raving about this film are those who played the original video games. While Warcraft may be an enormous bomb in North America, it’s already proving to be a huge hit in China, so this may be a case where a film’s international numbers save it from being a disaster. However, it should be noted that studios see a far smaller percentage of foreign grosses returned to them.

Now You See Me 2 landed in third place with a $23 million debut, $6 million shy of the first film’s 2013 opening. The original showcased surprising endurance, ultimately grossing $117 million domestically. However, the sequel hasn’t been as warmly received by critics or audiences, so it remains to be seen if it will stick around enough to break $100 million (or even $70 million).

The rest of the top 10 also feels tired this week. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows dropped a sizable 58 percent, and the film will almost certainly lose traction before it can break $100 million. X-Men: Apocalypse lived up to its name, only making $10 million in its third weekend of release for a current total of $136 million (which ensures that it will be among the lowest grossing of the X-Men movies). The Angry Birds Movie is starting to stall out, but it’ll comfortably cross $100 million in a matter of days. The same cannot be said for Alice Through the Looking Glass, which will be gone in a week or two and won’t have even come close to making what its predecessor made in just three days six years ago.

On the other hand, Me Before You has grossed $36 million against a $20 million budget and is on track to end up with about $50 million in the bank when all is said and done. In a summer where so many big films are failing, we should take whatever sleeper hits we can get.

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