Weekend Box Office: The Nun Conjures Huge $53.8M

The Nun
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Lo and behold, leaves are falling, the grand Halloween season is beginning (who else is very excited for David Gordon Green’s Halloween next month, by the by?), and horror has started spilling into our laps. Which is probably good for the lot of you. Probably.

Taking first, Warner’s The Nun was quite righteous with $53.81 million from 3,876 venues ($13,882 per-theatre average), ranking as the second-highest debut ever for September, only behind last year’s fellow Warner Bros. horror smash IT ($123.4m, and funnily enough debuted in the identical frame). Adding to Nun’s pedigree, the spin-off managed to notch the highest opening ever for the Conjuring universe, eclipsing the 2013 original’s $41.86m haul with ease.

The Nun’s opening is a testament to a few things – a) the great interest in the Conjuring franchise, which was initially made clear when last August’s Annabelle: Creation – follow-up to the fucking poisonous Annabelle ($84.27m) – managed $102.09m domestically and $306.51m globally; b) the horror renaissance so to speak, which has been a trend building over the past few years to my delight; c) clever marketing. For reference, The Nun had a single teaser trailer (not even a full-on deal) and it managed this opening off that, brand association, and some “2spooky4u” viral nuggets. Hell, reviews for The Nun are the lowest yet for the series and it still managed a 2.44x Friday-to-weekend multiple, on par with 2016’s The Conjuring 2 (2.47x) and better than Annabelle: Creation (2.33x). Even if its legs are on par with the first Annabelle (2.27x), The Nun gets $122.1m in its coffers off a $22m production budget. Yet another smash for Warner’s, who’ve been having a stellar run of things lately.

Overseas, The Nun collected $79.3m from 60 markets for a scary good $133.11m global launch. Conjuring movies have played strongly abroad, with the top haul belonging to Conjuring 2 ($217.92m). Top debuts for The Nun come courtesy of Mexico ($10.7m), Indonesia ($7.7m, best debut ever for a Warner Bros. movie), Brazil ($6.8m), India ($5.2m, also the best debut ever for a WB flick), and the U.K. ($5.2m).

Debuting in second, STX’s Peppermint was bittersweet with $13.42m from 2,980 hubs ($4,504 per-theatre average). Not a great debut on its own, but when your movie features Jennifer Garner becoming a John Wick-level assassin and your title doesn’t fit the grim colour palette at all and doesn’t even really adhere on an ironic level, you take what you can get. Plus the movie’s production cost came in at a reported $25m, which is reasonable (AKA not a whole lot was on the line). Per Deadline, STX released Peppermint as a service deal and their overhead wasn’t high, so they should see something of a profit here.

Reviews for Peppermint are kind of hideous, but that audience score isn’t shabby. Peppermint’s debut is right in line with STX’s prior actioner, this August’s Mark Wahlberg-Peter Berg flick Mile 22 ($13.71m). That movie’s grossed $35.11m and counting, a figure Peppermint should meet in time.

Internationally, Peppermint grabbed $1.4m from 17 markets for a $14.82m global tally. Don’t have specific figures just yet, but the movie’s biggest take reportedly came from the Netherlands.

Falling to third, Warner’s Crazy Rich Asians declined -40.1% from Labour Day weekend, its largest drop yet – with the caveat that post-Labour Day weekend typically sees some hefty falls – for a $13.15m take. Domestic cume is a strong $135.77m after four weeks, and the movie has a real shot at overtaking 2000’s What Women Want ($182.81m) to become the second-highest grossing romantic comedy ever, behind 2002’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($241.44m, riddle me that).

Overseas, Crazy Rich Asians rang up $5.6m from 23 markets this frame for a $28.6m haul. Global for the $30m pic is $164.37m. Top markets are Australia ($9.9m), Singapore ($4.4m), the Philippines ($3.1m), Malaysia ($1.7m), and Taiwan ($1.5m).

In fourth, Warner’s The Meg grossed $6.09m (-42.2%) in its fifth outing for a healthy $131.64m take. Expect the $130m Jason Statham-actually-fighting-a-prehistoric-shark flick to close out around $150m (give or take a few million) at this juncture, which is still about $100m more than most folks pegged its ceiling prior to release.

The Meg chomped $11.3m from 67 markets this frame, totaling $360.4m internationally and $492.04m globally. Top markets for the U.S.-China co-production are repped by China ($152.4m), Mexico ($20m), the U.K. ($19.8m), Russia ($13.4m), and Spain ($11.3m).

Rounding out the top five, Sony’s Searching fell a light -24.7% from its nationwide expansion last weekend, finding $4.57m. Domestic take is $14.37m. Barring fantastically fantastic legs, it’s unlikely Searching will get far past $30m (if it hits $30m at all), but this is the kind of movie that thrives in the post-theatrical market. Sony acquired the movie for $5m and it’s hard to imagine their overhead on this is huge.

Internationally, Searching grossed $7.5m from 8 markets. Overseas and global cumes are $18.14m and $32.5m, respectively. The bulk of this is thanks to South Korea ($13m), with other top markets being Indonesia ($1.1m), the U.K. ($1m), Thailand ($416k), and India ($161k).

Missing the top ten, Freestyle’s God Bless the Broken Road wasn’t too blessed, grabbing $1.39m from 1,272 venues ($1,090 per-theatre average). This is about on par with last August’s All Saints ($1.51m debut), which managed $5.8m by run’s end. So that’s the optimistic scenario for Broken Road, I guess.

 

HOLDOVERS

 

6. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Paramount) – $3.89 million (-44.7%), $212.2m cume
7. Christopher Robin (Disney) – $3.4 million (-35.5%), $91.93m cume
8. Operation Finale (MGM) – $2.87 million (-52.3%), $13.94m cume
9. BlacKkKlansman (Focus) – $2.61 million (-37.9%), $43.5m cume
10. Alpha (Sony) – $2.52 million (-44.6%), $32.46m cume