Looks like Warner Bros. is back in the habit of making truckloads of money from its massive horror franchise based on The Conjuring. Studio execs were presumably giving praise to the Almighty in response to the box-office returns for The Nun, which obliterated its secular competition with a $53.5 million opening weekend, the biggest of any entry in the entire franchise and the second-largest September opening of all time. Not only that, but the wimple-heavy production also managed to scare up the second-largest opening for an R-rated horror film of all time, both of those silver medals coming in behind last year’s horror juggernaut, It. With a global weekend haul of $131 million, things for The Nun are looking very rosary, indeed.
Warner Bros. must have pleased God this year, because that makes the fifth straight weekend the studio has taken the top spot at the box office. Previous champ Crazy Rich Asians dropped to third place with $13.1 million, gunned down out of second place by newcomer Peppermint. The Jennifer Garner revenge actioner tried to fire up audiences looking for John Wick-style thrills but could only muster up $13.4 million, or roughly a shade more than what the equally milquetoast Death Wish remake debuted to earlier this year. It’s more than double the receipts for the hilariously stupid (but also kind of fun) The Meg, which brought in $6.1 million to take the fourth spot, but considering the Statham-vs.-shark film is in its fourth weekend and has now cleared $130 million domestic, Peppermint’s returns are looking like chum change in comparison.
Rounding out the top five is indie thriller Searching ($4.5 million), which added a bunch more screens in its third weekend—fitting, considering its conceit of having everything in the missing-person mystery unfold on digital screens-within-the-screen. In the indie world, the A.V. Club-endorsed I Am Not A Witch took home roughly eight grand, or a middling four thousand dollars for each of the two screens it played on. Two documentaries, the lackluster Hal and the not-so-lackluster Bisbee ‘17, saw even less money, though given they played on only one screen each, that’s not so bad. Next time maybe add more wimples, and you’ll see some serious cash.