Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Horror film bucks horrible sequel trend

Published:Monday | June 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM
From left: Vera Farmiga, Simon McBurney, Abhi Sinha, Frances O’Connor, and Patrick Wilson in ‘The Conjuring 2’.
A scene from ‘Warcraft’.
Cast members of Now You See Me 2.


The recent slump of sequels at the box office finally caught a break with The Conjuring 2, a horror sequel that topped weekend cinemas with an estimated US$40.4 million.

The Warner Bros. film, in which Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson play married paranormal investigators, opened nearly on par with its 2013 original, which was also directed by James Wan. That film debuted with US$41.8 million and went on to earn US$319 million globally.

The big-budget video-game adaptation Warcraft, a co-production between Universal and Legendary that reportedly cost US$160 million to make, came in second with US$24.4 million, according to studio estimates yesterday. Though it effectively bombed in North America, Warcraft has been a hit overseas, particularly in China, where it has made a staggering US$156 million in its first five days.




Now You See Me 2, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo and Woody Harrelson, opened in third place with US$23 million domestically. That's a drop from the original's US$29.4 million debut. It eventually grossed US$351.7 million worldwide. The dip for Now You See Me 2 was more in line with the diminishing results seen from recent poorly performing sequels.

Next week, Pixar's Finding Dory will hope to continue the turn of fortune for sequels. The Finding Nemo sequel is expected to perhaps be Pixar's biggest opening ever.

Following are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian cinemas, according to comScore.

1. The Conjuring 2, $40.4m

2. Warcraft, US$24.4m

3. Now You See Me 2, US$23m

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, US$14.8m

5. X-Men: Apocalypse, US$10m

6. Me Before You, US$9.2m

7. The Angry Birds Movie, US$6.7m

8. Alice Through the Looking Glass, US$5.5m

9. Captain America: Civil War, US$4.3m

10. The Jungle Book, US$2.7m