Annabelle Comes Home scared up $7.2 million in its first day of release, putting the haunted-doll horror flick on track for a five-day opening gross between $30-35 million.
That’s a respectable figure for the Gary Dauberman-directed pic—part of Warner Bros. and New Line’s money-printing Conjuring-verse—especially given that the film opened early on a Wednesday, a maneuver likely intended to mount one last word-of-mouth push going into the weekend.
Horror movies are known for doing most of their business across the Friday-Sunday frame, so an opening weekend at the higher end of box-office expectations seems likely, especially given where the sequel’s predecessors Annabelle ($37 million) and Annabelle: Creation ($35 million) ended up landing.
A haul somewhere in that $30-35 million range, of course, puts Annabelle Comes Home well below the Conjuring-verse’s strongest entry, The Nun, which opened to $53.5 million and went on to bag $366 million worldwide (as well as some of the franchise’s worst reviews).
Barring an unexpectedly frontloaded weekend result, however, Annabelle Comes Home will open higher than The Curse of La Llorona ($26.3 million), another Conjuring-verse spinoff (though it hid its franchise connection until it hit theaters), did earlier this year. It’s also sure to blow past its most recent horror competitor, the Child’s Play remake, which opened to $14 million last week.
Admittedly, part of the disappointing Child’s Play haul was owed to opening against another talking-doll franchise update. Toy Story 4 debuted to a massive $120.9 million last weekend and has been posting strong midweek results so far, setting it up to easily stay atop the box office this week.
If Annabelle Comes Home does clock in at the lower end of expectations, it’s likely some of its audience opted for nostalgia hit over shiver rush and instead caught the Pixar fourquel with their families.
There’s also the question mark of Avengers: Endgame, back on screens in select theaters this weekend as Disney takes one final run at knocking Avatar from its mighty perch. The Marvel Cinematic Universe sorta-finale needs $38 million added to its stunning $2.75 billion haul if it’s to dethrone James Cameron’s sci-fi epic, which stands as the highest-grossing film of all time.
Even in the scenario that Toy Story 4 and Endgame take a bite out of Annabelle Comes Home’s haul, Warner Bros. and New Line won’t exactly be licking their wounds; the key to the Conjuring franchise’s longevity is a low price tag (most are budgeted under $30 million) and, more and more these past few years, increased return on whatever relatively small investment Warner Bros. and New Line makes. The five main Conjuring films have grossed a combined $1.5 billion worldwide against a cumulative budget of just $103 million. Unless Annabelle Comes Home inexplicably craters, it won’t be the possessed doll’s last haunting.
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