The Curse of La Llorona Box Office Prediction

Next weekend could provide an interesting answer to a question not posed before – how much can a Conjuring series picture gross if a lot of moviegoers may not be aware it’s actually part of the franchise? I give you The Curse of La Llorona, the sixth entry in this scary supernatural cinematic universe. The 1970s set ghost tale is directed by Michael Chaves in his feature-length debut (he’s slated to be behind the camera for the third official Conjuring flick next year). Linda Cardellini headlines a cast that includes Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velásquez, Tony Amendola (reprising his Annabelle role), and Sean Patrick Thomas.

Llorona premiered last month at the South by Southwest Festival. Early reviews are mixed to negative with a current 44% Rotten Tomatoes score. At the time of its unveiling, it was a bit of a surprise that this even existed in the billion dollar worldwide franchise. It’s a legitimate question as to whether the marketing campaign has had enough time to establish that fact.

In my view, that almost certainly means this will experience the lowest debut of the series so far. Horror fans have certainly had options lately with Us and Pet Sematary. That said, it’s a risky group of films to bet against. Just last fall, The Nun unexpectedly set the franchise opening weekend high mark at $53 million. The lowest start belongs to Annabelle: Creation at a still impressive $35 million. That creepy doll, by the way, is back this June with Annabelle Comes Home.

Tracking currently has this at $20 million and that sounds about right.

The Curse of La Llorona opening weekend prediction: $20.1 million

For my Breakthrough prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/09/breakthrough-box-office-prediction/

For my Penguins prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/10/penguins-box-office-prediction/

The Nun Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (09/05/18): I am revising my estimate up from $38.4 million to $45.4 million

The Conjuring Cinematic Universe rolls along when The Nun debuts next weekend. The fifth entry in the highly successful Warner Bros horror franchise is a prequel to all four previous pictures. Our title character was first glimpsed at in 2016’s The Conjuring 2. Corin Hardy directs a cast that includes Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga (sister of Conjuring star Vera), Jonas Bloquet, and Bonnie Aarons.

Just a couple of weeks back, The Nun received some unexpected publicity when YouTube pulled one of its trailers off the site due to its frightening jump scares. If anything, that notoriety could help peak the curiosity of moviegoers. Not that it necessarily needs it. The opening weekend grosses of this series have been remarkably consistent. Here’s the rundown:

The Conjuring – $41.8 million

Annabelle – $37.1 million

The Conjuring 2 – $40.4 million

Annabelle: Creation – $35 million

I don’t see any compelling reason why The Nun would change that range. You could say it seems pretty (ahem) black and white to me. I’ll predict this scary sister act hits high 30s.

The Nun opening weekend prediction: $45.4 million

For my Peppermint prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/28/peppermint-box-office-prediction/

For my God Bless the Broken Road prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/09/02/god-bless-the-broken-road-box-office-prediction/

Annabelle: Creation Movie Review

The 2014 Conjuring spin-off Annabelle didn’t exactly leave me clamoring for an origin story of the motionless demonic doll, but here we are with Annabelle: Creation. Set 12 years before the events of its predecessor, this prequel manages to be a slight improvement. Unfortunately that isn’t saying much.

A prologue documents toy maker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife Esther (Miranda Otto) tragically losing their young daughter. Dad’s profession reveals that he’s the creator of the doll that first appeared in 2013’s The Conjuring. We suspect his child’s demise will later tie into Annabelle’s evil ways.

We skip ahead to a dozen years later in the mid 1950s as six orphans and their nun caretaker (Stephanie Sigman) are looking for a home. They are taken in by the Mullins family on their sprawling country property. Janice (Talitha Bateman) is crippled by polio and quickly stricken by a feeling that something isn’t right with the creepy doll she finds at the house.

Those familiar with the franchise know the technicians involved in the film’s making pretty much take it from there. Creation wishes to generate its suspense through sounds and lighting reveals. David F. Sandberg, who last directed Lights Out, is behind the camera.

The original Annabelle felt like what it was – a quick cash grab to build on the success of The Conjuring. It also looked a little cheap. This doesn’t. It’s just not very scary. If you add up all the time throughout several pictures where the camera lingers on its title character, you might have enough screen time for a fifth entry in the series.

The makers of Creation succeed occasionally at putting together a fast scare, but it’s nearly two-hour runtime seems drawn out and routine. All the camera tricks and sound works cannot ultimately make Annabelle seem more than a mostly dull ploy to keep the franchise rolling.

** (out of four)

Annabelle: Creation Box Office Prediction

The demented doll made famous four summers ago is back in Annabelle: Creation, a prequel to 2014’s original, which itself was a spin-off of 2013’s breakout horror smash The Conjuring. This follow-up is from director David F. Sandberg, who made last summer’s well-received Lights Out. Stars include Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, and Miranda Otto.

There is one major difference between the 2014 spin-off and its sequel. While Annabelle only obtained a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this one is surprisingly at 100% and is obviously said to be a marked improvement.

How will that translate to box office dollars? Annabelle opened to a better than anticipated $37.1 million and was front loaded in its business with an eventual $84 million domestic gross. The Conjuring 2 from last summer couldn’t quite match its original’s debut (though it was awfully close at $41 million vs. $40 million).

Competition is relatively light, but even with the solid reviews, I don’t expect Creation to quite match the premiere of its predecessor. However, it may leg out better. I’ll say a high 20s to low 30s debut is most probable.

Annabelle: Creation opening weekend prediction: $31.4 million

For my The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/08/02/the-nut-job-2-nutty-by-nature-box-office-prediction/

For my The Glass Castle prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/08/03/the-glass-castle-box-office-prediction/

Wish Upon Box Office Prediction

Low-budget horror pic Wish Upon hopes to scare up some box office dollars when it comes out next weekend. The reported $12 million production focuses on a mysterious music box that grants wishes to terrifying results. Annabelle director John R. Leonetti is behind the camera with a cast that features Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Ki Hong Lee, and Sherilyn Fenn.

The marketing campaign for this has seemed a little under the radar. Flicks of this genre can certainly exceed expectations, but I’m not expecting much here. We have already seen one example of a horror entry underwhelming this summer with It Comes at Night and it garnered very favorable reviews. There’s also significant competition in the form of War for the Planet of the Apes being in its opening weekend and Spider-Man: Homecoming being in its second.

I’ll predict Wish Upon is granted a debut just under half its meager budget.

Wish Upon opening weekend prediction: $5.9 million

For my War for the Planet of the Apes prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/05/war-for-the-planet-of-the-apes-box-office-prediction/

Annabelle Movie Review

Annabelle was rushed into production after summer 2013’s The Conjuring turned out to be a huge hit and one of the better genre flicks in recent memory. The title character is a wide-eyed, creepy doll who turned up memorably in a supporting role in the aforementioned production. Here she gets her own feature and it feels exactly like a rushed project meant to tide fans over until the legitimate Conjuring sequel. Annabelle was shot on a smaller budget and looks cheaper.

The picture deems it necessary to open with a title card explaining the history of dolls and then footage of The Conjuring to remind us why we just spent our dough. We flash back to 1969 (one year prior to Conjuring’s haunted happenings) where dull Dr. John (Ward Horton) and pregnant wifey Mia (Annabelle – woah – Wallis) gain the attention of our demonic doll after some cult figures (think Manson) invade their home. Moving doesn’t help. Annabelle has no issues making the journey to Pasadena with our non-descript couple. Alfre Woodard turns up as a bookstore owner who helps Mia understand what’s happening with Tony Amendola in the well worn role as a priest trying to assist.

Annabelle tries to generate its scares though sound effects and lingering shots of our doll staring. We keep waiting for those huge eyes to move. It all worked much better in The Conjuring and especially in Rosemary’s Baby, which director John Leonetti pays occasional tribute to. Most distressingly, the tone is far too somber. It’s about a crazy and vengeful kids doll after all. Chucky might’ve helped. There are a couple of mildly hair rising moments, but not near enough. This was designed to provide leftovers to hungry Conjuring fans but it’s unlikely to satisfy.

** (out of four)

Box Office Predictions: October 17-19

A trio of new pictures open this Friday to try and end the two week reign of Gone Girl at the top spot: Brad Pitt’s World War II actioner Fury, the Nicholas Sparks adapted romantic drama The Best of Me, and the animated tale The Book of Life. You can read my detailed posts on each here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/12/fury-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/12/the-best-of-me-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/12/the-book-of-life-box-office-prediction/

It’s hard to imagine Fury not having enough firepower to debut at #1, though The Best of Me or The Book of Life or both could surpass expectations. The real battle could be for the runner-up position as Gone Girl is likely to suffer a small decline and Best and Book should open in the same range.

As for other holdovers, I expect Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day to experience a slimmer decline than current #2 Dracula Untold.

And with that, we’ll do a top six projections for the weekend:

1. Fury

Predicted Gross: $26.4 million

2. The Best of Me

Predicted Gross: $17.8 million

3. Gone Girl

Predicted Gross: $17.6 million (representing a drop of 33%)

4. The Book of Life

Predicted Gross: $15.6 million

5. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Predicted Gross: $12.5 million (representing a drop of 32%)

6. Dracula Untold

Predicted Gross: $10.7 million (representing a drop of 54%)

Box Office Results (October 10-12)

David Fincher’s Gone Girl held off newcomers to remain atop the charts for the second week in a row. The water cooler hit based on Gillian Flynn’s novel took in $26.4 million, ahead of my $24.2M prediction and has amassed a terrific $77 million in ten days.

Dracula Untold had a robust beginning to the tune of $23.5 million, well beyond my meager $14.4M estimate. The pic is likely to fade rather quickly, but Universal Pictures has good reason to be pleased with its results.

The family comedy Alexander and its long title of a bad day debuted healthily with $18.3 million, right in range with my $18.7M prediction. The Steve Carell pic should hold up decently in subsequent weekends.

Horror spinoff Annabelle, as expected, dropped precipitously after its strong opening last weekend. It earned $15.8 million, barely above my $14.8M projection. It’s made $61 million so far.

Despite star Robert Downey Jr.’s relentless promotion last week, The Judge had difficulty luring viewers. It grossed just $13.1 million, below my $16.4M estimate. Mixed reviews may have kept some adult viewers away.

Finally, the steamy drama Addicted posted an impressive $7.4 million on a limited number of screens for a seventh place start. This outshined my $4.5M prediction.

That’s all for now, friends!