Weekend Box Office: ‘Annabelle: Creation’ Conjuring Up $36M-Plus Debut

Weekend Box Office: ‘Annabelle: Creation’ Conjuring Up $36M-Plus Debut

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’ and the book adaptation ‘The Glass Castle’ also open nationwide this weekend.

New Line’s Annabelle: Creation is scaring up a strong business in its box-office debut for a projected domestic launch in the $36 million-$39 million range, according to early Friday returns.

The origin film, directed by David F. Sandberg, is the fourth installment in the studio’s Conjuring horror franchise. It’s pacing to gross as much as $17 million from 3,502 theaters on Friday, including a strong $4 million in Thursday previews.

Annabelle, which opened in October 2014, earned $2.1 million in late-night showings on its way to a $37.1 million domestic debut. It earned $256.9 million worldwide. Conjuring 2 took in $3.4 million in previews in June 2016 on its way to a $40.4 million debut in North America. The highest earner in the Conjuring universe, it has grabbed $320.3 million worldwide.

The new installment follows a doll maker and his wife who, after losing their little girl, welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home. But they soon become the target of the doll maker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

Annabelle: Creation is also impressing overseas, where it has grossed $9.5 million in its first two days, including a Thursday haul of $1.2 million in South Korea.

Elsewhere in North America, Open Road’s animated sequel The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is projected to open to a subdued $8 million-$10 million from 4,003 theaters. Friday’s gross will include $330,000 in Thursday previews.

The first Nut Job film debuted to $19.4 million in January 2014.

Nutty by Nature, about a group of animals trying to stop their serene park from being turned into an amusement venture, features a voice cast that includes Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Jackie Chan and Katherine Heigl. Cal Brunker directed it.

Lionsgate’s adaptation The Glass Castle is opening in far fewer theaters, or 1,461 locations, for a projected $4.5 million-$6.5 million launch.

Based on former gossip columnist and author Jeannette Walls’ best-selling 2005 memoir, the story follows a young girl and her siblings who grow up with parents who choose to live an unorthodox (and often homeless) life. Brie Larson plays Walls in the film while Woody Harrelson plays Walls’ alcoholic father Rex. Naomi Watts plays Walls’ mother. The film sees Larson reunite with her Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton.

In limited release, Reliance will premiere Toilet: Ek Prem Katha into 175 theaters; A24 will release Good Time into four theaters; Neon will debut Ingrid Goes West into three theaters; IFC is also debuting The Trip to Spain in three locations; Roadside will debut Amazon’s The Only Living Boy in New York in 15 theaters; and Freestyle is releasing Bedeviled.

This weekend’s forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Annabelle: Creation (3,502 theaters) – $31.5 M
  • Dunkirk (3,762 theaters) – $11.0 M
  • The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (4,003 theaters) – $9.5 M
  • Girls Trip (2,303 theaters) – $7.6 M
  • The Dark Tower (3,451 theaters) – $7.6 M
  • The Emoji Movie (3,219 theaters) – $6.2 M
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2,607 theaters) – $6.0 M
  • Kidnap (2,418 theaters) – $5.6 M
  • Detroit (3,007 theaters) – $4.8 M
  • The Glass Castle (1,461 theaters) – $4.1 M