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.
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
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
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
With a financial juggernaut like Warner Bros. The Conjuring franchise, you’ve got to take the good with the bad. Last week brought news of a $900 million lawsuit against the studio over its successful series of films, but this week the studio is moving full steam ahead to deliver more of these ghostly films that fans crave!
Production on The Nun, a spinoff film featuring the titular ghoul from The Conjuring 2, is heating up! Corin Hardy is set to direct the film, and Variety reports that Demian Bichir (The Hateful Eight, Alien: Covenant) has been cast in a lead role in the film. read more
Warner Bros.’ The Conjuring franchise, along with its various sequels and spinoffs, has made over $900 million and counting for the studio. In 1980, Gerald Brittle published a book about the cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren, entitled The Demonologist. Brittle claims that his agreement with The Warrens in 1978 included a “no competing work” provision which is still in effect today. The Hollywood Reporter has published portions of a 335 page amended complaint which Brittle filed against Warner Bros. in Virginia federal court on Wednesday. The complaint seeks $900 million in damages, and it alleges that Warner Bros. knowingly created the franchise under permission by Lorraine Warren when it was actually Brittle’s permission the studio needed to move forward. Furthermore, Brittle claims that the studio can not claim “fair use” based upon the historical facts of the cases because Brittle alleges that The Warren’s stories are works of fiction. read more
The Wrap has reported that Corin Hardy will be directing New Line’s The Nun, based on the character first seen in James Wan’s The Conjuring 2. Hardy is best known for 2015’s critically acclaimed British-Irish horror film, The Hallow. Not bad for a creature that wasn’t added to the film until the 11th hour!
If Anabelle is any indicator, The Nun promises to be another very lucrative spinoff of The Conjuring franchise. Despite it’s obvious drop in quality from the source film, Annabelle earned nearly $258 million on a budget of just $6.5 million. The film did particularly well with international audiences, soaking up 67.2% of its box office overseas without ever even opening in China. read more