The Nun wakes up the box office this weekend, ending the run at the top by Crazy Rich Asians in a big way.
by Tim Briody
September 9, 2018
The second spinoff from The Conjuring series (Annabelle is the other) was very easily the #1 film on the weekend, taking in a solid $53.5 million for the weekend. Despite terrible reviews, The Nun's pedigree was enough for audiences that it was essentially bulletproof. You could also make the argument that the last two weekends of terrible new releases meant people really wanted to go to the movies. The post-Labor Day weekend is also when IT launched last year with a ridiculous $123.4 million. So maybe this weekend is starting to become a thing.
The Conjuring franchise has only been a thing since 2013 and all five films to this point have been extremely successful, with three of the four previous films crossing $100 million (and the one that didn't, Annabelle, earned $84.2 million on a $6.5 million budget so we'll give it a pass). The first four films in the series also totaled up over a billion worldwide. There is already a third Annabelle film slated for release in 2019, along with a third Conjuring film in development, and I'm sure a sequel to The Nun will be announced any day now.
After three wild weekends at the top, Crazy Rich Asians slides to second place, down 38% (a number nobody would have blinked at had that been its second weekend decline) to $13.2 million, giving it $136.2 million after four weekends. The sudden jump in the weekend drop probably ends the $200 million dream, and indicates that Crazy Rich Asians was partially benefiting from a marketplace devoid of quality in the last two weekends, but this is still one of the best and important box office stories of the year, no matter how you slice it. We now await all the attempted knockoffs in the next year before we finally get to the second book in the series, which Warner Bros. should get on, pronto.
The other new release this weekend lands in third as Peppermint, starring Jennifer Garner, earns a middling $13.2 million on the weekend. Aiming to be a female Taken (it helped that it had the director of that one), this one missed badly, earning just 13% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. While not an expensive film (a reported $25 million budget), I don't really like its prospects to have any box office longevity, which continues a miserable late summer for STX Entertainment, as neither this, Mile 22 or The Happytime Murders were able to breakout.
Warner Bros., meanwhile, is having a fantastic last month as The Nun, Crazy Rich Asians and our fourth place movie this weekend, The Meg, have all been hits. In its fifth weekend, The Meg added $6 million and has earned $131.5 million to date. It's foreign earnings that are carrying the day here though, as it's approaching $500 million worldwide, which makes the reported $150 million price tag hurt a lot less, and likely guarantees a sequel.
Searching lands in fifth with $4.5 million and $14.3 million in three weekends. The gimmicky thriller starring John Cho, it only dipped 26% from last weekend, though it did add another 800 theaters from Labor Day weekend, which explains the small decline. It's headed to a total of around $25 million, which Sony should be happy with.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is just a couple million away from being the biggest film in the franchise's history (when you don't count inflation) as it adds $3.8 million in its seventh weekend and has earned $212.1 million to date. It's going to finally surpass 2000's Mission: Impossible 2 ($215.4 million) by next weekend.
We're going to go with the lightning round for the rest of the top ten here, as Christopher Robin earns $3.1 million in its sixth weekend and might just get to $100 million after all, it's at $91.7 million to date. Operation Finale drops 49% to $3 million after opening over Labor Day weekend; it's got $14.1 million after two weekends. Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman earned $2.5 million and has $43.4 million after five weekends, and Alpha wraps up the top ten with $2.5 million and $32.4 million in four weekends.
The top 12 films this weekend earned $108.8 million, which seems impressive, but The Nun was responsible for nearly half of that, and on this weekend last year the top 12 earned $154.7 million when the previously mentioned It stunned everyone with $123.4 million.
Next weekend brings another September mixed bag: The Predator (in the news this week for the wrong reasons), the female-led thriller A Simple Favor and based on a true story drama White Boy Rick with Matthew McConaughey.