Warner Bros./New Line’s “The Nun II” is kicking off the fall box office with a $32.6 million opening weekend is making it likely that September will be a much better month for theaters than last year’s miserable slump.
While well short of the $53 million opening of the first “Nun” in 2018, “The Nun II” is meeting pre-release projections and is also in a similar range to past films in the “Conjuring” series. It tops the $24 million opening made by “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” during Warner’s day-and-date experiment in 2021, and slides just below the $35 million opening of “Annabelle: Creation” in 2017.
“The Nun II” has also made $52.7 million from 70 overseas markets this weekend — including $8.9 million from Mexico — to give it an $85.3 million global start. Warner Bros. is anticipating a final global total of over $200 million, a solid result given that all of the “Conjuring” films have all been produced on budgets of less than $50 million.
“The Nun II” will likely be more frontloaded in its box office performance given its C+ grade on CinemaScore, but given that the first “Nun” earned a C on CinemaScore, the relatively low budget level and solid overseas numbers, this sequel should be another success at the box office for New Line’s now decade-old horror franchise.
Even though a $32 million mid-September opening won’t make big headlines, “The Nun II” is providing the kind of support that theaters simply didn’t have in September 2022. On this weekend a year ago, overall grosses collapsed to just $44 million, with monthly grosses plummeting to a 25-year-low. This month is already looking better as overall grosses are estimated to reach $88 million.
Also opening this weekend is Focus Features’ “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3,” which is also meeting pre-release projections with a $10 million opening. That’s below the $17.8 million opening of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” in 2016, but more concerning is that audiences aren’t as enthused for this threequel with a B on CinemaScore, compared to an A- for its predecessor.
“Greek Wedding 3” opened in third behind the second weekend of another threequel: Sony’s “The Equalizer 3.” The Denzel Washington film earned $12.1 million this weekend for a 65% drop from its $34.6 million weekend. That’s consistent with the $14 million second weekend for “The Equalizer 2” in 2018 as the two-weekend total reaches $61.8 million domestic and $107 million worldwide.
Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” is in fourth with $5.9 million, pushing its domestic total to $620 million. Greta Gerwig’s smash hit has now passed the unadjusted domestic total of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” to take the No. 12 spot on the all-time list and will pass the $623 million total of “The Avengers” for the No. 11 spot later this week.
“Barbie” is in a virtual tie for the No. 4 spot with the new Shah Rukh Khan action thriller “Jawan,” which is drawing out Indian moviegoers since its Thursday release with $7.1 million grossed over four days from 827 theaters this weekend. Distributed in the U.S. by Yash Raj Films, “Jawan” set a record for the highest global opening day for a Hindi-language film with $16 million.
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