The first Annabelle film, a spin-off from the critically and financially successful The Conjuring, is an interesting case study. Like its source material, the first Annabelle film raked in the dough, with $84 million domestically and an unbelievable $257 million worldwide (I guess creepy dolls is the second international language). Unlike the Conjuring however, the film took a beating on Rotten Tomatoes (finishing up with a score of 29%) and while fans showed up in droves initially, the audience quickly tailed off in the States, and the negative buzz did not bode well for a sequel to the film. In spite of this, Annabelle: Creation is a surprisingly entertaining film that has much more in common with first Conjuring film than its predecessor or last year’s sequel to the Conjuring.
The summer of 2017 has been full of big budget disappointments and smaller films that were not able to capture moviegoer’s interests (and more importantly, ticket purchases).
And when it come to horror films, unlike 2016’s bumper crop of summer hits such as Lights Out, The Conjuring Two, and Don’t Breathe, no genre picture was able to get horror fans into the theater…until now.
Annabelle: Creation easily won the weekend box office with an estimated $36 million dollar take and is poised for a profitable run at the box office, with no worthy competition until the release of Stephen King’s It on September 8th. read more
Entertainment Weekly recently discussed James Wan’s upcoming films with him, and much of the conversation centered around his ever-growing “Conjuring Universe” including Annabelle: Creation, The Nun, The Crooked Man, and of course, The Conjuring 3.
Wan praised the directors attached to the Conjuring spin-offs and called David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) and Corin Hardy (The Nun) “…really young, hungry, upcoming filmmakers, full of passion for the genre” and that they “…remind me of what I was when I started with Saw. That’s the kind of filmmakers I would love to continue to foster through Atomic Monster.” When discussing the upcoming The Nun, Wan described Corin as “…a monster movie-nut”, which bodes well for the film among genre fans. read more
The original Conjuring spin-off Annabelle was a massive world-wide financial success (earning over $256,000,000), but was less successful with critics and fans. When the inevitable sequel was announced, most discerning horror fans were not very interested, until director David F. Sandberg came on board the project. Sandberg impressed many horror fans with his debut feature Lights Out which became one of the sleeper hits of the summer movie season of 2016, and it looks as if history will repeat itself this summer on August 11th when Annabelle: Creation is released. David took some time from a busy promotional schedule to talk to us about his current film, what he learned from Lights Out, and his upcoming DC Universe film Shazam (scheduled for a 2019 release.) read more
Deadline is reporting that Lars Klevberg’s film Polaroid (which was adapted from a short film he directed) has been moved from August 25th to December 1st.
Although the main reason cited has to do with the animated ballet story Leap! being moved up from a September opening (a film that has already been moved around the calendar a number of times), the move also allows Polaroid to retreat from Annabelle: Creation, which may be the only heavyweight horror contender at the box office this season. read more
As reported by Deadline, New Line Cinema has hired David Leslie Johnson to write the third installment of the hugely popular Conjuring series. Also reportedly back is James Wan, who directed the first two films. James is expected to leave the directing to someone else this time around and will just be a producer.
David Leslie Johnson should be no stranger to horror fans as he co-wrote The Conjuring 2 and also wrote 2009’s Orphan and a few episodes of a little-known show called The Walking Dead. Wan and Johnson just finished working together on the upcoming DC Comics film Aquaman which Wan is directing and Johnson was brought in to help re-write. read more
Warner Bros. studio have begun building hype for this summer’s Annabelle: Creation by screening the film for early critical reviews and releasing a new trailer for public consumption.
2014’s Annabelle was never a critical darling. It earned a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score of just 29%. This time, the studio attempted to “have its cake and eat it too” by hiring David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) to direct the picture. Based on the early reviews, this decision may have slightly improved the quality of the franchise. Variety opined, “Despite being stuck with a lame script, Lights Out director David F. Sandberg manages to conjure some effective scares in New Line’s demon-doll prequel.” Still not great, but certainly better than before! read more
Warner Brothers/New Line shows no sign of slowing down when it comes to spinning off horror movies from their successful Conjuring franchise.
Next up: the slender, I mean Crooked Man!
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news today stating that “Mike Van Waes has been hired to pen the script from a story by James Wan, who serves as the chief architect of the Conjuring universe.” Van Waes has been on a winning streak of late and is “…reuniting with New Line, which previously scooped up his pitch for an original horror film set in the world of The Wizard of Oz. Van Waes has been on a roll when it comes to selling pitches and scripts over the past 15 months: His Black List spec Hammerspace is at Warner Bros., and he sold a book proposal called Peeves to Harper Collins, which was picked up by Fox Animation through Temple Hill.” read more
Many news outlets are reporting the potential for a decline in ticket sales at the summer box office due to sequel fatigue, competition from streaming services, and an overall lower quality of blockbuster this summer. While the tales of streaming killing the box office are a bit over-rated (and over-reported), the first major flop of the summer season, Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur movie (which could only draw $15 million dollars in its opening weekend, carrying a $175 million dollar budget price tag), has some studios “quaking in their boots”. Will it be up to horror films to once again save the summer? read more
Horror News Network caught up with David F. Sandberg before the Warner Bros. panel at WonderCon to ask him about directing “Annabelle: Creation.” Sandberg is currently best known for his break-out hit “Lights Out” and looks to continue to be a horror golden-boy based on the crowd reaction during the film footage at the panel.
In this interview, David tells us that this was his chance to do a “classic, old-school kind of horror movie” and that one of the hardest parts of filming was the doll, Annabelle, herself due to the restrictions of not letting her move around on-screen. read more