This weekend could rightly be called the Battle of the Horror Sequels, as newcomer The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It faces off with previous champ A Quiet Place Part II, which wowed with a pandemic-best $47.55M 3-day and $57.09M 4-day opening over the Memorial Day frame.
Though many predictions pegged A Quiet Place Part II as a repeat victor heading into the weekend, the continued draw of The Conjuring franchise proved too much for the John Krasinski-directed sequel to overcome. The Devil Made Me Do It opened in first place with an estimated $24.01M from 3,102 locations, knocking A Quiet Place down to the runner-up spot. The Warner Bros. threequel managed that feat even as it debuted day-and-date on HBO Max, where subscribers had the option of viewing it for free.
The Conjuring 3‘s opening is the largest of the pandemic to date for an R-rated film and the third-largest overall, after A Quiet Place Part II and Godzilla vs. Kong. The film’s Rotten Tomatoes score was a just-barely-“Fresh” 60% among critics, while its Cinemascore was a B+ and its PostTrak score was a 76 index with a 75% Total Positive rating. Fifty-three percent of the opening-weekend audience was under 25, while 20% of the gross came from premium formats including IMAX and PLF screens.
As with all pandemic-era releases, direct comparisons with films released prior to COVID-19 are difficult, if not impossible, given capacity limitations and a lingering unease among many Americans about the prospect of going back to the movies. Those comparisons become even more difficult when you couple that with the day-and-date streaming/theatrical release strategy that has become increasingly commonplace over the past year. On the other hand, The Conjuring 3 may also have benefitted from pent-up audience demand as theaters continue to loosen restrictions and millions of Americans feel a sense of newfound freedom following widespread vaccinations.
All of which is to underline the difficulty in knowing exactly how the ongoing, if significantly diminished, pandemic affected The Conjuring 3‘s performance this weekend. Context is also important when considering its performance relative to the first two films in the series. While both debuted considerably higher ($41.86M and $40.4M, respectively), they were released in a marketplace that looked considerably different than the one that exists today.
Nonetheless, The Devil Made Me Do It’s solid performance (and somewhat unexpected win over A Quiet Place Part II) speaks to the enduring appeal of the now eight-year-old Conjuring franchise, which remains a reliable performer despite the slew of sequels and spin-offs that have been released in the wake of the first film’s blockbuster run. Along with the performance of A Quiet Place Part II last weekend, its better-than-expected debut offers additional proof that North American audiences remain committed to the moviegoing experience despite the wide availability of at-home streaming options.
Following its big debut last weekend, A Quiet Place Part II dropped 59% to an estimated $19.5M, bringing its total to a robust $88.61M after 10 days of release. Like many horror sequels, the follow-up was far more front-loaded than its predecessor, which dipped just 34% in its sophomore frame – though an apples-to-apples comparison is difficult given the pandemic landscape. There’s also the issue of brand-name, direct competition so soon out of the gate in the form of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, which is geared to the same general horror audience. Regardless, A Quiet Place Part II remains a clear win for Paramount, which now has a bona fide franchise on its hands (a spinoff film was recently announced to be in the works for a 2023 release).
Third place went to Disney’s Cruella, which dropped 48% to an estimated $11.2M in its sophomore frame. The dark-hued origin story of the 101 Dalmatians villain, which lost some premium screens to both A Quiet Place and The Conjuring this weekend, has taken in $43.7M in its first 10 days – which of course doesn’t include the amount it’s taken in from Disney+ subscribers who opted to pay the $30 premium price to stream the film at home.
The second new wide release of the weekend, Universal’s Spirit Untamed, made a so-so debut in fourth place, bringing in an estimated $6.2M from 3,211 locations in its opening frame. Based on the Netflix series Spirit Riding Free, the film is the second feature in the animated franchise after 2002’s Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Though reviews weren’t particularly strong (it has a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes), Spirit Untamed benefitted from a lack of major competition in the “families with young children” demo (35% of the opening-weekend audience was made up of parents, while 42% were children under 12), which hasn’t been targeted by a wide studio release since Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon debuted in early March. Despite critics’ relative indifference, audiences responded favorably to the film, awarding it an “A” Cinemascore and a 96% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Speaking of Raya and the Last Dragon, the animated fantasy grossed an estimated $1.31M in its 14th weekend of release, bringing the film’s total gross to $53.53M in North America.
Universal reports that F9 is on track to gross north of $200M in China after posting a $136M opening there two weekends ago and an estimated $11.03M this weekend, which would bring its total in the country to $203.82M. That makes it the highest-grossing U.S. title in China during the pandemic, overtaking Warner Bros.’ Godzilla vs. Kong. Overall, F9 grossed an estimated $13.37M internationally this weekend, including $1.75M in Korea and $1.04M in Russia, where its total stands at $17.74M and $15.88M, respectively.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It grossed an estimated $26.8M overseas in 12 territories, including a $6.7M opening in Mexico and a $3.1M debut in Korea. Its international total stands at $33.13M (including grosses from the U.K., where it opened one week early) and $57.14M worldwide.
A Quiet Place Part II took in an estimated $19.2M in 16 markets, including 4 new openings, bringing the sequel’s overseas tally to $50M. It took in an estimated $7M in its second weekend in China for a total gross of $29M in the country.
Cruella took in an estimated $18.6M overseas from 36 territories, bringing its international cume to $43.4M and its global tally to $87.1M. Top overseas territories include the U.K. ($6.2M), Mexico ($5.8M) and Korea ($5.7M).
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway upped its international total to $45.8M after grossing an estimated $4M overseas this weekend, including $2.6M in the U.K., where it has taken in $17.5M to date. Upcoming international release dates for the Sony sequel include China on June 11, Japan on June 25, France on June 30 and Germany on July 1. It opens in the U.S. next weekend.
Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates
Friday, June 4 – Sunday, June 6, 2021
|Title||Estimated weekend||% change||Locations||Location change||Average||Total||Weekend||Distributor|
|The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It||$24,010,000||3,102||$7,740||$24,010,000||1||Warner Bros.|
|A Quiet Place: Part II||$19,500,000||-59%||3,744||18||$5,208||$88,610,985||2||Paramount|
|Raya and the Last Dragon||$1,306,000||-44%||1,504||-511||$868||$53,528,146||14||Walt Disney|
|Wrath of Man||$1,270,000||-42%||2,007||-600||$632||$24,673,714||5||United Artists|
|Godzilla vs. Kong||$463,000||-48%||1,390||-425||$333||$99,119,000||10||Warner Bros.|
|Dream Horse||$230,053||-64%||648||-635||$355||$2,326,454||3||Bleecker Street|
|Those Who Wish Me Dead||$111,000||-81%||748||-1,057||$148||$7,214,000||4||Warner Bros.|
|Mortal Kombat||$72,000||-74%||611||-349||$118||$42,037,000||7||Warner Bros.|
|The Dry||$30,500||-51%||58||-68||$526||$287,215||3||IFC Films|
|All Light, Everywhere||$5,213||2||$2,607||$5,213||1||Super LTD|
|The Killing of Two Lovers||$2,730||-60%||14||-8||$195||$72,746||4||Neon|