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Weekend Box Office: Conjuring 2 Scary Good in First, Warcraft Bombs but Booms in China

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By Chris Kavan - 06/12/16 at 07:23 PM CT

It was kind of a silly weekend for movies. Two sequel proved that audiences will show up a second time around, provided you're making a sequel to something worth watching in the first place. Meanwhile, a massive video game adaptation found little love in America but made a huge splash in China with near-record numbers. All three new films also debuted in the top three at the box office, meaning there wasn't that much love for the week's previous films. The week was up 13.8% compared to last weekend though a big step back from last year when Jurassic World roared on the scene with over $208 million. We'll see how this roller coaster rides in the weeks ahead.


I admit, I was kind of excited to see how this sequel played out compared to the original film, which is one of the better horror films to come around recently. It turns out, I wasn't the only one. The Conjuring 2 opened up in first place with a $40.35 million weekend. That total is almost identical to the $41.8 million back in 2013. Lately, sequels have been pulling in dreadful numbers, but The Conjuring 2 proves that if you make a sequel audiences actually want, they will still show up. In fact, aside from Civil War and Batman v Superman, this is the best sequel result of 2016. Audiences also like it as much as the original, awarding it the same "A-" as The Conjuring. I give it slightly lower results than the original, but still highly recommend it to horror fans. With an international total of $50 million, that puts The Conjuring 2 at $90 million worldwide - or more than double its $40 million budget. It will be hard to match the $137 million of its predecessor, but I still think $100 million domestic is well in order and hopefully this means director James Wan will come back for a third outing with the Warrens (if he can pull himself away from Aquaman for just a bit). If he does I'll be right there with him.


With a budget of $160 million, Warcraft sure made an impression at the box office... and that impression was bomb. At just $24.35 million, Warcraft is looking at a John Carter level of disappointment here in the states. The fact it dropped 27.1% from Friday to Saturday also bodes ill for its long-term prospects. However, that is only one side of the coin, and the other has a much brighter silver lining. In China, after a huge $46 million opening, Warcraft made a pretty amazing $156 million from China alone. With other markets factored in, the foreign total for Warcraft sits at $286.1 million, making that $160 million budget a little easier to swallow. While the film is likely to only top out at around $60 million domestically, it will most likely top $350 million (and could reach $400 million) around the world. Heck, the opening in China topped the likes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Iron Man 3 leading me to believe far too many people in China play Warcraft. Anyways, the domestic disaster aside, this proves just how much China is emerging as a factor in movies and, for better or worse, looks to be a big player in the future of Hollywood.


Who doesn't enjoy a good magic show? I'm guessing Jon M. Chu was hoping that audiences were still interested in his motley crew of smart (and smartass) magicians a second time around. Much like The Conjuring 2, Now You See Me 2 opened very close to what the original film brought in. With just over $23 million, the film was a bit under the $29.35 opening of the original, but well within range of what a decent sequel should bring in. Most of the main cast returns and the budget looks to have been increased (to around $90 million) and looks to have the same success as the original (which topped out at $117 million domestic and over $350 million worldwide). So far, it has earned $22.8 million on the foreign front for a $45.8 million total. Even if the film doesn't quite reach the heights of the original, it will still come out on top - a good thing considering Now You See Me 3 is already in the planning stages.


Turtle power may have to find a better way to recharge. Last week's top film took a 58% tumble from first to fourth (the original film dipped 56% in its second weekend) for a $14.8 million weekend an a new $61 million total. It will be lucky to hit $100 million here and will have to do a lot better than its current $55 million foreign gross if the turtles hope to be around for third round. I, myself, wouldn't be too surprised to see these heroes bow out - I still am not sure what the overall appeal of this franchise is today - I loved the animated show as a kid, but I just don't think nostalgia alone is enough to bring in the big crowds anymore (unless you're Star Wars, of course).


Taking a similarly big hit, X-Men: Apocalypse dropped 56.2% in its third weekend, earning just $10 million and giving the film a new total of $136.3 million. That total at least is enough to push it past The Wolverine ($132 million) and not become the lowest-grossing X-Men movie of all time. We'll see if it has enough left in the tank to top the $157.5 million of the original X-Men, but it may be a stretch at this point. Once again, the foreign numbers look much better as, at $478 million total it looks to be able to top $550 million by the end of its run - which would make it the third-best X-Men film behind Deadpool and Days of Future Past. I have yet to see this, but I will probably catch it this week - maybe the last time before it begins shedding theaters as bigger and better things come along.

Outside the top five: The Jungle Book crept across the $350 million mark with a $2.72 million (10th Place) showing and a new total of $352.6 million. It has also made $909.8 million globally.

Next week Disney looks to shake off its Alice and Wonderland debacle with a much better sequel: Finding Dory, which should be another massive Pixar hit. Meanwhile, Dwayne Johneon and Kevin Hart team up for the buddy comedy Central Intelligence.


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