The Big Picture
- The Nun II is expected to have a solid opening weekend at the box office, earning around $30 million domestically, outperforming The Last Voyage of the Demeter.
- The Nun II is part of The Conjuring Universe, which has been highly successful overall, with all movies grossing over $200 million worldwide except for The Curse of La Llorona.
- Despite mixed reviews, The Nun II received better feedback than its predecessor and is considered one of the franchise’s best additions outside of the main Conjuring movies.
Warner Bros. would have hoped to avoid the fate of Universal’s recent horror release The Last Voyage of the Demeter with this week’s The Nun II. Demeter opened to disastrous box office results some weeks ago, before evaporating with just $13 million domestically, but the latest installment in The Conjuring Universe is looking at more than double that figure in its opening weekend alone, where it will dethrone The Equalizer 3 from the top spot.
The movie picked up $3.1 million in Thursday previews, which puts it on course for a $30 million domestic debut in what is turning out to be a rather soft period at the box office, after a spectacular summer season. By comparison, The Nun opened to a franchise-best $53 million in 2018, after grossing $5.4 million from Thursday previews. Directed by Corin Hardy, The Nun went on to deliver a lifetime domestic haul of $117 million; remarkably, it remains the highest-grossing movie of the Conjuring Universe at the global stage, with $363 million in the bank.
All of this is to say that even within the larger franchise, The Nun remains a particularly dominant IP. The Nun II received superior reviews as compared to the first film, and although it currently sits at a “rotten” 55% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the first film could only manage a 24% approval rating. Collider’s Samantha Coley was particularly impressed by the sequel, and called it the franchise’s best addition “outside the core movies” in her review.
This Is Going to Be a Middle-of-the-Road Opening by Franchise Standards
The film is directed by Michael Chaves, who previously helmed The Curse of La Llorona and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, which grossed $123 million and $206 million worldwide, respectively. It must, however, be noted that Conjuring 3 opened in 2021, when Warner Bros. had decided to debut each of its films simultaneously on the Max streaming service. In terms of openings, The Nun II is poised to perform in the same range as Chaves’ two previous movies. Conjuring 3 made $24 million in its first weekend, while The Curse of La Llorona opened to $26.5 million.
The Conjuring Universe is perhaps the most successful example of a shared franchise outside the Marvel films. Besides The Curse of La Llorona, which, in fairness, Chaves claims isn’t a part of the franchise at all, not a single movie in the series has grossed less than $200 million worldwide. The series will continue with the fourth Conjuring movie, titled The Conjuring: Last Rites. The Nun II, which takes place in 1950s France, features returning star Taissa Farmiga — her sister Vera Farmiga leads the Conjuring movies — as Sister Irene, alongside Jonas Bloquet, Storm Reid, Anna Popplewell, and Bonnie Aarons as the titular Nun.