‘The Nun II’ Frightens Audiences Again At Box Office

It was another good weekend for Warner Bros. Pictures’ horror sequel set in “The Conjuring” Universe, “The Nun II.” The movie frightened up the audiences again this weekend, topping the box office for its second weekend in a row and making approximately $14.7 million, just barely topping the newly released “A Haunting in Venice,” per figures from Box Office Mojo.

Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” has surpassed over $912 million worldwide, and it looks like the film could potentially reach $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

‘The Nun II’s’ Scares Delight

“The Nun II” is doing very well at a time when Warner Bros. Discovery is in dire need of hits. The film has now reached $56 million at the domestic box office and $158 million worldwide. That means the film has already brought in a profit for the studio. The first installment of “The Nun” reached $117 million domestically and $365 million worldwide. It doesn’t look like “The Nun II” will reach those marks but with a reported budget of around $38-$40 million, the horror sequel’s threshold for profitability is much lower than say a recent Warner Bros. release such as “The Flash” or “Blue Beetle.”

“The Conjuring” franchise has been a consistent winner for the studio, including its spinoffs and offshoots such as “Annabelle” and “The Nun.” The franchise has grossed a combined $2.2 billion worldwide against a combined budget of about $217 million. Reviews on the franchise are typically mixed to negative. “The Nun II” scored a Rotten 49% rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the films continue to be fan favorites among audiences.

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James Wan / MEGA

“The Nun II” is directed by Michael Chaves, with Taissa Farmiga returning from the first film to once again star. She’s joined by Storm Reid, and Bonnie Aarons, who reprises her role as the demonic Nun spirit. James Wan, who directed “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2” serves as producer for the film.

Rounding into second place with a photo finish was the latest installment of the Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot mystery series from Oscar-winning filmmaker Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”), “A Haunting in Venice.” Branagh returns once again to direct the feature and stars as the renowned detective Poirot for his third outing. The film came in just behind “The Nun II” at $14.5 million. The sequel opened slightly higher than the previous 2022 installment, “Death on the Nile,” which opened to just over $12 million in February of that year.

Kenneth Branagh

“A Haunting in Venice” scored decent reviews from critics with a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film didn’t have the greatest of release periods being snuck in after the summer movie season and before the fall release season really gears up. In 2017, Branagh’s first Hercule Poirot movie opened much better with about $28 million in November of that year. It went on to make $102 million domestically and $352 million worldwide. “Death on the Nile” did considerably worse, making only $45 million domestically and $137 million worldwide.

“A Haunting in Venice” has a reported budget of about $60 million, so it’s not the most expensive spend by the studio, but they are likely still wanting to see some return on that investment. The film still could potentially bring in more box office in the later weeks, since there is a bit of an audience who like the Christie stories and Branagh’s portrayal, but “A Haunting in Venice” will likely need its overseas box office to reach a better level 0f profitability and breaking even.

‘Oppenheimer’ Reaching Potential Huge Milestone

Way down on the top 10 list this week was Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed film, “Oppenheimer,” which brought in another $2.1 million and has reached $318 million domestically. More importantly, the film brought in another $10.8 million overseas this weekend, and it’s now reached $912.7 million worldwide, per figures from Box Office Report.

Now that the film has reached over $900 million worldwide, it becomes a question if it can reach $1 billion. The film is likely going to receive heavy awards buzz next year. With awards re-releases, the film will assuredly reach that mark. However, it looks like it can still reach $1 billion worldwide with the help of overseas grosses, even though its domestic totals are starting to trickle very low.

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Only two other movies crossed the $1 billion mark at the theatrical box office this year, the global phenomenon “Barbie” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” “Barbie has now reached $626 million and $1.416 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing movie of the year domestically and worldwide. “Oppenheimer” is now only the No. 3 movie of the year behind those aforementioned films. However, if “Oppenheimer” reaches $1 billion this year, it would give Universal Pictures two of the three releases that reached over $1 billion at the global box office for 2023.

Even if “Oppenheimer” doesn’t reach $1 billion worldwide for its current run, it will assuredly reach at least $950 million. And then when award season rolls around, theatrical re-releases should get it to that point easily, especially when the allure of watching “Oppenheimer” is in premium formats, such as IMAX. It will be interesting to see where “Oppenheimer” ends up by the end of its initial theatrical run.

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