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
The Amityville Horror has had a difficult time at the multiplex lately. The 2005 remake somehow managed to earn nearly $22 million less than the 1979 original, and HNN’s Nick Banks recently chronicled the series of unfortunate events which have plagued The Weinstein Company’s Amityville: The Awakening (which is still unreleased to this day, despite an initial premiere date of January, 2015). Despite the brief glimmer of hope in the form of a brief appearance in Warner Bros.’ successful film, The Conjuring 2, interest in the “true story” franchise appears to be at an all time low. With the release of Amityville: The Awakening looming somewhere out there on the horizon, Broad Green Pictures has decided to take a different approach to the famous horror story: Deadline reports that the studio is preparing a film called 1974, which will focus more heavily on the real life murders which triggered (or inspired, based on your opinion of the case) the classic ghost story. 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
The plot synopsis for the Conjuring 2 spin-off The Nun is no longer “none” of your business!
According to Variety, “The story centers on a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania taking her own life, with a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret and confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun from The Conjuring 2.”
Variety also revealed that, “The Nun” is set for release on July 13, 2018 — a Friday the 13th.” It appears that The Nun is positioning itself as one of the major horror contenders in the summer season of 2018, taking a date close to the July 19th date of the original Conjuring film (and what studio can resist releasing a horror film on Friday the 13th during any month of the year!). read more
What do four of the six highest grossing major film studios of 2016 have in common? They each released a horror film that made enough money to compensate for another big budget box office flop on their roster.
Hollywood accounting is “creative” to say the least, but the general rule of thumb is that a tentpole film needs to earn two times its estimated budget worldwide in order to outweigh production and marketing expenses and begin to make money.
According to Box Office Mojo, Sony’s The Magnificent Seven earned approximately $160.4 million on an estimated budget of $90 million. Ghostbusters (2016) earned approximately $229 million on an estimated budget of $144 million. read more
Although October 2016’s slate of horror films were at an all time low, this didn’t stop studios from making money at the your local cinema at other times of the year. 2016 was another profitable year for horror films, with the exception of a few high profile bombs.
The undisputed horror box office champ was The Conjuring 2. James Wan’s sequel to his 2013 film that showcased the further adventures of renowned ghost hunters, Ed and Loraine Warren, raked in $102.5 million domestically, and $320.2 million worldwide. The largest foreign market happened to be Mexico, where the Conjuring 2 made $20.5 million. Although the film was not the critical success of Wan’s first film, it appears like there is no stopping this franchise, whether Wan returns to the director’s chair or not. read more
DVD & Blu-ray Releases: September 13, 2016
This week’s list of releases includes the highly anticipated The Conjuring 2, Blu-ray releases of Frankenstein: Complete Legacy Collection and The Wolf Man: Complete Legacy Collection, along with several DVD re-issues, which include The Ring and The Ring Two. You can view the complete list of this week’s horror releases below.
The Conjuring 2 (Blu-ray + Digital HD)
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O’Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney read more
With the success of The Conjuring 2, New Line is already planning a spinoff featuring the villain of the film, a demonic nun. David Leslie Johnson, co-writer on Conjuring 2, will be writing the film. Director James Wan and Peter Safran, who produced the films, will be reuniting to produce the spinoff.
The demonic nun character didn’t actually exist until three months before Conjuring 2 opened. She was added during last-minute reshoots after Wan decided on the new concept, rather than the original demonic figure with horns that was being used. read more
The Conjuring 2 – Review
By Lynn Sorel
Rating: 8 out of 10
Synopsis: Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.
Our thoughts: James Wan has done what few directors are able to do with his sequel to The Conjuring. He made a better film with a more complex story and a more terrifying villain.
Much like the last film, The Conjuring 2 begins with a flash back to another Warrens case file. We start with the famous Amityville case, after which Lorraine said she no longer wanted to take on cases. The story then cuts to a a family, whose little girl named Janet who becomes the target of a malevolent spirit. read more