It’s always a good thing when a horror film kicks ass at the box office, and that’s exactly what iHorror award-winning director David F. Sandberg’s prequel Annabelle: Creation did this weekend.
The overall Conjuring franchise has become well-known for its ability to scare up large profits on the back of low budgets, and Creation doesn’t look to be the film that ends that pattern.
Made for only $15 million, Annabelle: Creation is estimated to haul in a whopping $36.7 million at the domestic box office this weekend, according to the latest available projections.
That easily crushes the rest of the field, with #2 being Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk with just under $11 million. Sliding down all the way to #4 is last week’s winner Stephen King’s The Dark Tower with $7.5 million.
At this point, the poorly reviewed Dark Tower is positively drowning financially, with still around $20 million to go after this weekend before the King adaptation even makes its $60 million budget back. Ouch.
While Creation’s $36.7 million opening is slightly less than the original Annabelle movie’s $37.1 million debut take, this is still a huge win for studio Warner Bros., as there is almost no way the prequel leaves theaters without turning a huge profit. For reference, Annabelle (2014) went on to earn $256 million worldwide.
The next several weeks will be quiet ones for new horror releases, although there is definitely a chance that Creation spends more than one week in the top slot. On September 8th though, the real main event arrives, as Warner Bros. releases Andy Muschetti’s R-rated adaptation of IT.
Considering the enormous level of advance buzz surrounding IT, it’s almost impossible to imagine it not opening significantly higher than Creation. With a reported budget of about $40 million, IT won’t be quite as quick as Creation to become profitable, but will likely outperform it in the long run.