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The Conjuring 3 Opens To $24M, Giving Another Big Boost To The Box Office

It was another victorious weekend at the box office as The Conjuring: The Devil Me Do It opened with a solid $24M, which actually outstripped most projections, including my own prediction from before the weekend (I pegged it to come in right around $20M with $19.8M). This figure was able to take down the solid $19.5M second weekend of A Quiet Place Part II (read more on that here). The third film in the main Conjuring franchise was also available for no extra cost on HBO Max, and will be on the platform for the first 31 days of its release.

While the HBO Max factor may have taken a dent out of its potential box office, it also was always going to have a hard time hitting the opening weekend numbers of its predecessors (Conjuring 1 $41.9M/Conjuring 2 $40.4M) since there’s always a bit of burnout for horror franchises this far along. Add to that trying to open on the heels of the fantastic opening for AQP2, and well, this is a big success.

The good news is the film actually opened higher than the previous entry in the franchise, Annabelle Comes Home, which brought in $20.26M on opening weekend in June 2019. That film featured the Warrens (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) in well marketed supporting roles. That film opened on a Wednesday, however, and brought in $31.1M over the five-day opening.

However, the third Conjuring may not actually gross as much as the third Annabelle movie, because that film held on well for a horror movie after its opening and ended with $74.2M. HBO Max simultaneous releases have had a tendency to fall hard on their second weekend, and considering the competition throughout the month of June (In The Heights, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Fast 9), there’s little reason to think Conjuring 3 will buck that trend.

It may sound bad that the third film in a spinoff trilogy will outgross the main film’s third entry, but with the “Covid Curve”, the studio will still be thrilled with these numbers (plus the Annabelle movies were big hits, especially for their budgets). With a budget of only $40M, Conjuring 3 will still be profitable given this solid start, and I suspect we’ll see a fourth movie soon enough.

As for where this one could wind up in terms of its total domestic gross….it’s a little tricky, both due to the variables I’ve already mentioned, and also because the HBO Max releases have (after a huge second weekend drop) played really well. However, that was when there was severe lack of competition, and that long playability may not be a guarantee anymore. Folks have more options at the theaters this summer than they did in early 2020 thanks to a consistent stream of new movies from now on. I do expect it to get at least into the mid $50M range on the lower end, which before Godzilla Vs. Kong and A Quiet Place 2 would have been the third biggest gross of the pandemic (Tenet ended with $58.4M and The Croods: A New Age is just about wrapped up with $58.35M).

Anything higher than $60M would be a huge win with all these factors taken into account. Either way, this franchise is alive and well, and so is the box office.

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