It seems that The Nun is making a habit of dominating the box office.
Warner Bros.’ “The Nun II” opened at number one at the domestic box office this weekend, grossing $32.6 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.
The latest installment in the “Conjuring” franchise took home the box office hit, five years after its predecessor “The Nun” scored the biggest opening in the saga ($53.5 million). The second “Nun” film matched this Projectionswhich envisioned a $30 million opening for the horror film in the United States and Canada.
Internationally, the spooky sequel grossed $52.7 million, bringing its worldwide total to $85.3 million.
Rounding out the top five at the domestic box office this weekend was Sony Pictures’ “The Equalizer 3,” which grossed $12.1 million in its second release and grossed $61.9 million in North America; Focus Features’ “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3,” which debuted to $10 million; Yash Raj Films’ “Jawan,” which grossed $6.2 million; and Warner Bros.’ “Barbie,” which grossed $5.9 million in its eighth frame, for a North American total of $620.5 million.
Directed by Michael Chaves, The Nun II stars Taissa Farmiga as Sister Irene, who is once again haunted by a demonic nun named Valak (Bonnie Aarons). The cast also includes Jonas Bloquet, Storm Reid and Anna Popplewell.
The film received a weak 45% rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and received a grade of C-plus in a CinemaScore audience survey.
“Almost every scene in the film plays out in the same way: a trembling altar boy (alarboy, delivery girl, student) wanders into a dusty old room (rectory, cellar, chapel) and is scared to death by a loud thing (wine jug, window , statue) and the creepy face of the creepy nun demon (Bonnie Aarons, we salute),” writes film critic Katie Walsh for Tribune News Service.
“Lather, rinse, repeat. “It’s actually shocking how often the same scenic formula is used in The Nun II without achieving spectacular success.”
Despite the less than positive reviews for both, the “Nun” films have performed relatively well at the domestic box office. Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have also made additional money from Nun-themed merchandise such as dolls and costumes. And Aarons recently sued the entertainment companies, claiming they profited from said merchandise without giving The Nun’s face her fair share.
“The importance of Ms. Aarons’ contribution to the success of the films is undeniable,” the lawsuit states.
“Unlike most horror movie monsters, which hide behind a mask or are CGI creations, Valak is based on Ms. Aarons’ physical characteristics…A significant portion of all merchandise for the Conjuring Cinematic Universe uses Ms. Aarons’ likeness “Because Valak is the most popular character and there are no logos associated with the franchise to use on merchandise.”
New Line declined to comment on the lawsuit when it was filed, while Warner Bros. did not respond to the Times’ request for comment at this time.
Also new in theaters this weekend was “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3.” The third part of the comedy series has been released, more than 20 years after the original “Big Fat Greek Wedding” became the most successful independently produced romantic comedy of all time.
In “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3,” starring, written and directed by Nia Vardalos, the crazy Portokalos family travels to – where else? — Greece for a family reunion. The cast also includes John Corbett, Lainie Kazan and Andrea Martin.
The sequel received an abysmal 28% Rotten Tomatoes rating and a grade of “B” in a CinemaScore audience survey.
“Who can take the blame? [Vardalos] “For the desire to finally transport the overwrought ethnic family jokes, tired cultural references and forced madness from the Chicago suburbs to the picturesque homeland of the title?” writes film critic Robert Abele for The Times.
“Especially after ‘Mamma Mia!’ Movies have already capitalized on this Mediterranean beauty – and these characters aren’t even Greek! And ABBA is Swedish! … Still, these “Mamma Mia!” bicker-and-swoon musicals are carefully crafted sweets next to the moist baklava of “Greek Wedding 3,” in which the honey from the original film’s mix is fermented and the dough has no discernible shape accepts more.”
Meanwhile, “Jawan” scored the biggest global opening ever for a Hindi-language film, grossing $9.4 million in India and $15.6 million worldwide, according to figures diversity. The action thriller starring Shah Rukh Khan easily beat the previous record holder – another recent Khan vehicle titled Pathaan.
Domestically, “Jawan” debuted in fourth place and played in just 813 theaters in the United States and Canada – earning an impressive $7,616 per theater average, according to Comscore. (For comparison, “The Nun II” opened in 3,728 theaters in the United States and Canada).
Directed by Atlee Kumar, “Jawan” stars Khan as a man on a mission to fulfill his promise to make the world a better place while battling a sinister outlaw who has caused grave harm to others. The cast also includes Nayanthara, Deepika Padukone, Vijay Sethupathi, Sunil Grover and Sanya Malhotra.
The thrilling film received a stellar 93% critic rating and 90% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was not rated by viewers surveyed by CinemaScore.
“Here is another confirmation of Shah Rukh Khan’s status as the reigning benevolent king of Bollywood.” writes film critic Mike McCahill for the Guardian.
“While his previous film laid out established formulas, Khan’s latest film stretches his arms further and shows flashes of idiosyncratic vision. … A star vehicle that functions like a runaway train, Jawan covers long distances at full throttle in surprising ways – but that’s also a polite way of admitting that it’s a mess.”
Next week sees a wide release of 20th Century Studios’ A Haunting in Venice, Blue Fox Entertainment’s The Inventor and Variance Films’ Amerikatsi.