This weekend, proving to be about as popular as the first hit film, the supernatural sequel The Conjuring 2 opened at number one with an impressive gross of an estimated $40.4M. Warner Bros., which has been in need of a hit, enjoyed a fantastic $12,070 average from 3,343 locations.
Both Conjuring films have opened north of $40M which is an astonishing feat for the horror genre. Director James Wan and stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson all returned and the marketing promised another spooky story with a PG-13 rating that can attract teens and young adults. And having a quality product was key to the success too. Reviews were very strong and audiences were quite pleased as the CinemaScore grade was an A-. These are incredible results for a fright sequel.
Conjuring 2 enjoyed the best opening weekend for any horror film since the first pic opened three summers ago to $41.9M. Studio research on the sequel showed that the crowd was 52% female and 57% over 25. Good word-of-mouth helped the first chapter have legs which led to a terrific $137.4M domestic final and $318.4M worldwide take. Longevity may once again be a factor here given the good will the sequel is generating.
Overseas, The Conjuring 2 launched with an estimated $50M from 44 markets with 26 of them seeing the best horror movie opening of all-time. Breaking $300M global is possible again especially since most top European markets have not opened yet. That means a pair of films that cost $60M combined to produce will end up grossing more than $600M together.
The pricey video-game-inspired adventure film Warcraft opened in second place with an estimated $24.4M which normally would be a disappointing performance, but with the film’s massive success in China, the U.S. numbers will not be so important. Universal opened the PG-13 actioner in 3,400 locations and averaged $7,164 per site. Reviews were lousy and consumer interest never really materialized outside the gamer community.
Demo data indicated that the audience was very male (66%) and 54% were under 30. The CinemaScore grade was a B+ which was decent. Films like Warcraft are made to draw their fan bases upfront so a final domestic total of around $60M seems likely which is even worse than the new Alice movie.
But the North American market is essentially gravy for Warcraft. China leads the way as the most critical territory for this film and will probably contribute more than half of the final global gross. With a Wednesday holiday launch, the orc pic grossed a staggering $156M in its first five days there putting it about even with last summer’s Furious 7 which set all-time industry records at the time on its way to a jaw-dropping $391M final there. The game has been immensely popular in that country and the casting of Chinese-American actor Daniel Wu (who got the ‘and’ credit) helped. 292 IMAX screens in China delivered a robust $20M as the visual effects made it a prime movie to experience in a premium format.
Other international markets have contributed $105.7M to date. Add in China and North America and the Warcraft global cume now stands at $286.1M and climbing rapidly. Produced for $160M, the final global gross could approach the $600M mark with a whopping 85-90% coming from outside North America.
Another new release followed in third place. The magic sequel Now You See Me 2 debuted well with an estimated $23M from 3,232 locations for a solid $7,124 average. Lionsgate saw lackluster reviews for its PG-13 pic. In the summer of 2013, Now You See Me was an unlikely hit opening to $29.3M on its way to $117.7M. The all-star sequel’s debut was an acceptable amount smaller than its predecessor’s. A $20.1M international bow put the global total at $45.8M. NYSM2 opens in China in two weeks and expects a healthy run there given that half the film is set in Macau.
Falling 58% in its second weekend was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows with an estimated $14.8M putting Paramount at $61M to date. A domestic final of $90-100M seems likely amounting to only half of the $191.2M of its 2014 predecessor. The international cume rose to $55.3M for a current global tally of $116.3M.
Another summer sequel declining hard was X-Men: Apocalypse which fell 56% to an estimated $10M putting Fox at $136.4M through the third weekend. The latest mutant saga is running 28% behind the pace of 2014’s Days of Future Past. Apocalypse grossed another $25M overseas this weekend boosting the international haul to $342.1M and the worldwide sum to $478.5M. China leads all markets with $96M which beats what Batman v Superman did there.
The romance Me Before You followed with an estimated $9.2M dropping 51% in its second weekend. Warner Bros. has banked $36.8M to date. With an estimated $6.7M, The Angry Birds Movie took seventh place sliding only 34%. Sony has collected $98.2M from North America and $312.1M worldwide. China leads all overseas markets by a mile with $72M while all other territories have grossed under $14M each.
Rounding out the top ten was Disney with three big-budget films — two megahits and a flop. Alice Through the Looking Glass dropped 51% to an estimated $5.5M for a weak cume of $62.4M. A dismal domestic final of about $75M is likely which would be a disturbing fall of 78% from the $334.2M of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland.
Top hit Captain America: Civil War grossed an estimated $4.3M, down 45%, with a new cume of $396.9M. The global run is winding down now and the cume stands at $1.14 billion. The Jungle Book cracked $350M domestic and $900M worldwide this weekend. The effects-driven adventure took in an estimated $2.7M, off 39%, pushing the sum to $352.7M. It passed American Sniper and Transformers: Dark of the Moon to reach number 34 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters and will surpass Furious 7 within a day or two.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $141M which was down 47% from last year when Jurassic World broke the all-time opening weekend record with $208.8M; and down 21% from 2014 when 22 Jump Street debuted in the top spot with $57.1M.
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