Thursday Night Report: ‘The Conjuring 2’ ($3.4M) Bests ‘Warcraft’ ($3.0M); ‘Now You See Me 2’ Starts with $1.75M

Friday Update: Warner Bros. reports that The Conjuring 2 scared up $3.4 million from Thursday night’s first shows, coming in just ahead of the $3.3 million earned by the first film in July 2013 and significantly ahead of Insidious Chapter 3‘s $1.55 million last June. We expect more front-loading this time around due to the film’s nature as a sequel, but it remains on course for a weekend take in the low-to-mid $30 millions.

Warcraft bowed to $3.1 million last night, a relatively healthy start for the video game adaptation. Unfortunately, comparisons are few and far between as the film isn’t expected to branch out beyond the core gamer audience, which we expect to result in sharp front-loading toward Thursday night and Friday.

Meanwhile, Now You See Me 2 pulled in $1.75 million, topping its predecessor’s $1.5 million in May 2013. Again, its nature as a sequel should lead to more front-loading than the first film. A weekend in the low-to-mid $20 millions appears likely.

We’ll update with official Friday estimates from the studios and more concrete early weekend estimates on Saturday morning.