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Weekend Box Office: Annabelle: Creation Opens Big as Box Office Continues to Fizzle

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By Chris Kavan - 08/13/17 at 11:55 PM CT

While it was a big win for The Conjuring spinoff sequel/prequel at the box office, that lone bright spot wasn't enough to turn around the summer blahs as the weekend was the fourth lowest of 2017, and beat last week's low total for the lowest-grossing of the summer movie season. The summer is now down 12% compared to last year and has no chance to recover. Besides everyone's favorite creepy doll, Dunkirk also continued to shine while a couple other movies crossed some major milestones.


The Conjuring series may be gunning for the top spot among horror franchises. With a $35 million weekend opening, the prequel origin story of Annabelle: Creation was a certified hit. While it may have opened as the lowest-grossing film in The Conjuring franchise (not quite making it to the $37 million the original Annabelle brought in), one has to remember the budget for this was a mere $15 million, meaning the film is already a success. The big picture is that The Conjuring franchise is still running strong and with The Nun, The Crooked Man and The Conjuring 3 on the way - it's not showing any signs of slowing down. It is already the third-highest grossing horror franchise of all time with $967 million worldwide with only The Resident Evil series ($1.236 billion - six films) and Alien ($1.492 billion - nine films) currently topping it. Considering how well-received the films have been - even the kind of terrible original Annabelle - provided the films don't take a huge downturn in quality - there is a good chance this will be the highest-grossing horror franchise of all time. Credit to director David F. Sandberg, whose Lights Out was also a horror hit ($67.2 million on a $5 million budget). Annabelle: Creation will be the top horror dog until It hits in September and is looking at $70 million at least, with a good chance to go higher if it can avoid the typical horror movie drop.


Christopher Nolan's war drama held steady in second place, dropping a light 33.4% in its fourth weekend of release, bringing in $11.4 million and raising its total over the $150 million mark with a new $153.7 million total. It is the fifth straight film from Nolan to cross the $150 million mark and is now a lock to top Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ($171.5 million) to become the fifth biggest movie of the 2017 summer season. It continues to follow a similar trajectory as Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation and, should it continue along that path, a $200 million domestic total is pretty much assured - and that's without any awards season bump. With $210 million overseas, the global tally for Dunkirk stands at $363.6 million.


I mentioned that I was surprised that the mostly underwhelming Nut Job was even getting a sequel and it turns out I wasn't alone. The Nut Job 2 only posted a $8.93 million opening weekend - far below the original film's $19 million opening. It also set a dubious record that has already been broken twice in 2017 - the worst opening for a film premiering in over 4000 theaters. The previous record was The Emoji Movie ($24.5 million) and the movie before that was The Mummy ($31.7 million). Maybe it's time for studios to worry more about quality then the number of theaters they're opening with - but, who an I kidding, they'll never learn. While the film earned a decent "B+" Cinemascore, audiences just weren't interested in another round. This one is going to be lucky to hit $25 million, let alone get anywhere near the $67 million total of the original.


The Dark Tower didn't open very well, not impressing fans, critics or general audiences and it certainly didn't recover in its second weekend. With a massive 58.9% tumble, The Dark Tower could only add $7.87 million to its total of just $34.3 million. The drop is on par with the second week drop for the Ben-Hur remake and if it follows a similar path, it's looking at $46 million total. While The Dark Tower doesn't nearly have the budget that Ben-Hur did ($60 million), it's still going to have to hope that overseas numbers can save its bacon - much like Inferno, though it's not a given. The Dark Tower certainly isn't going to start a movie franchise and now we'll have to wait and see if a reported small-screen television series ever surfaces or if, like the Man in Black, it just walks off into the sunset.


Dipping another 45%, The Emoji Movie took in $6.6 million and raised its total to $63.6 million. While the movie has topped its $50 million budget, it's not going to be an animated highlight for the year. Still, I don't expect we're going to be seeing any more Emoji movies in the near future (though with animation, you never can tell... Nut Job 2 being a prime example) but at least it won't be a major misfire.

Outside the top five: The overly depressing The Glass Castle opened in 9th place with $4.875 million. The coming of age dysfunctional family tale did score well with its audience (an "A-" Cinemascore) that was a hefty dose of female (80%) and older (76% 25 and up). I doubt this will be making any serious waves in the near future.

Edgar Wright's Baby Driver his the $100 million mark, taking in $1.475 million (15th place) for a new $100.06 million total. That is $70 million more than Wright's previous best film and the total is $5 million more than his four previous films combined. It's also an outstanding result for an original R-rated film.

Speaking of milestones, Spider-Man: Homecoming hit the $300 million mark with a $6.1 million weekend (7th place) and new $306.4 million total. It also crossed the $700 million mark globally with a $702 million total.

Next week two action-comedies are going to compete for waning audience attention - The HItman's Bodyguard and Logan Lucky.


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