The latest entry in Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Conjuring” series scared up $24 million in ticket sales from 3,102 North American venues, exceeding initial projections and easily leading domestic charts. Its results are especially strong because the film is readily available on HBO Max at no extra cost to subscribers.
Heading into the weekend, box office prognosticators expected reigning champ “A Quiet Place Part II” to claim victory. The horror sequel, directed by John Krasinski, debuted last weekend to pandemic-record $48 million and took in an impressive $58 million in its first five days of release. “A Quiet Place 2” still had a strong sophomore outing, generating $19.5 million from 3,744 theaters and boosting its total U.S. haul to a roaring $88 million.
Promising ticket sales for “The Devil Made Me Do It” and “A Quiet Place 2” have industry experts optimistic about the recovery of the movie business after a terrible year of delays and deserted theaters. With upcoming blockbuster hopefuls, such as “Black Widow,” “F9” and “In the Heights,” summer movie season should provide theater operators with some much needed stability.
“This is another positive sign for the industry,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “Two similar movies on top of each other doing these numbers shows vibrancy in the market. It’s very good to see.”
Warner Bros. did not report how many people watched “The Devil Made Me Do It” on HBO Max. The R-rated movie, which intertwines with the supernatural universe populated by “The Nun,” “Annabelle” and “La Llorona,” cost $40 million to produce. In the recent installment, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return as paranormal experts to investigate demonic happenings that trace back to the real-life 1981 murder trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson.
Disney’s “Cruella” came in third place, amassing $10.5 million in its second weekend of release. The “101 Dalmatians” prequel, starring Emma Stone as the puppy-snatching villain, is also available to rent on Disney Plus for an extra $30. Though Disney did not share viewership numbers, it already announced that a sequel is in the works so it’s safe to assume the studio was pleased with the film’s streaming performance.
Elsewhere at the domestic box office, newcomer “Spirited Untamed” landed at No. 4 with $6.2 million from 3,211 U.S. locations. The PG animated adventure, from Universal and DreamWorks, is the sequel to the 2002 film “Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron” and features a voice cast of Isabela Merced, Eiza González, Julianne Moore and Jake Gyllenhaal. “Spirit Untamed” carries a price tag around $30 million and will likely benefit more from the ancillary goodies, like action figures, puzzles and sticker books, aimed at young equestrian lovers.
Rounding out the top five is “Wrath of Man,” an action thriller with Jason Statham, which pulled in $1.2 million from 2,007 venues. After five weeks in theaters, the movie has made $23 million.
More to come…