As expected, James Wan’s horror sequel The Conjuring 2 bested both of its theatrical foes at the June 10-12 box office, nearly matching the impressive weekend gross of its predecessor with $40.4 million from 3,343 screens.
Featuring returning stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, the film received decent reviews from critics and audiences, earning a 74 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an A- grade on CinemaScore. With three new wide releases hitting theaters, the weekend box office still paled in comparison to the same frame last year, when Universal’s Jurassic World debuted to a then-record $208.8 million opening. Total yearly business is still up 4.1 percent overall from 2015, however.
The Conjuring series’ slight drop in attendance from the first film to second (a mere $1.5 million separates their opening weekend grosses) continues Wan’s financial success at the box office: He last directed 2015’s Furious 7 to over $1.5 billion worldwide and previously found success in the horror genre with 2004’s Saw ($103.9 million worldwide on a $1.2 million budget), 2011’s Insidious ($97 million worldwide on a $1.5 million budget), and 2013’s Insidious: Chapter 2 ($161.9 million worldwide on a $5 million budget). In-line with his previous efforts in the genre, The Conjuring 2 scared up around $51.5 million from 44 markets and approximately 10,400 screens around the world, bringing its worldwide total to $91.9 million.
Horror films in general tend to dip significantly in their second weekend, so it’s unlikely the film reaches the lofty $137 million precedent set by The Conjuring in 2013, but the fact remains that it is still the only major horror film on the market (and will be until The Shallows opens on July 1) and will serve as substantial counterprogramming to Finding Dory and Central Intelligence next weekend.
A third installment of The Conjuring now seems likely, though Wan previously said he doesn’t know if he’ll have time to step into the role of director, as he currently has the DC Comics adaptation of Aquaman on deck as his next project.
For a film with a $160 million budget, Warcraft’s $24.2 million domestic debut at No. 2 might seem small in comparison to other fantasy epics, but the North American gross of the video game adaptation is a tiny piece of a much larger puzzle for Universal, as the film continues to do stellar business overseas. As of Sunday, Warcraft has earned over $286 million globally, including its U.S. totals and $144 million in China, where the film has thus far grossed more in its first four days of release than Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice grossed over their entire runs. The film’s audience skewed largely male (69 percent), with a majority of moviegoers considering themselves to be “heavy gamers” according to comScore’s PostTrak survey.
Now You See Me 2, yet another cinematic continuation hitting wide release this season, fared well in comparison to other 2016 summer sequels, dropping slightly from the $29.4 million debut of its predecessor to bring in $22.4 million from 3,232 locations for a solid $7,124 per-screen average at No. 3. The Lionsgate flick attracted an evenly split demographic, as 51 percent of the film’s opening weekend audience was male with the remaining 49 percent being female. The film also attracted an even 50/50 split of audiences above and below the age of 25, indicating large cross-demo appeal that will, like the first film, carry it to a significantly higher cumulative total by the end of its run. The film also debuted in 30 international markets, bringing in $23.9 million for an overall haul of $46.3 million globally.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows lost nearly 60 percent of its audience as it crashed from a $35 million opening to $14.4 million during its second weekend. The $135 million picture has grossed $115.9 million around the world, $60.6 million of which comes from North America — still failing to match even the $65.6 million the first film in the rebooted franchise made over its first three days of release.
Rounding out the top five, X-Men: Apocalypse edges out Me Before You with $9.9 million, though it lost 568 screens heading into its third weekend in wide release. The Warner Bros. romantic drama fell harder than expected, bringing in around $9.1 million according to early projections. The film, based on Jojo Moyes’ popular novel of the same name, has so far earned $55.5 million around the world on a $20 million budget.
Here are the weekend’s top 10 films at the box office:
1. The Conjuring 2 - $40.4 million
2. Warcraft - $24.2 million
3. Now You See Me 2 - $22.4 million
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - $14.4 million
5. X-Men: Apocalypse - $9.9 million
6. Me Before You - $9.1 million
7. The Angry Birds Movie - $6.6 million
8. Alice Through the Looking Glass - $5.6 million
9. Captain America: Civil War - $4.3 million
10. The Jungle Book - $2.8 million