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Friday Estimates: Sequels Still Struggle, but Conjuring Comes Out on Top with $16.4 million

June 11th, 2016

The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist

The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist is the only bit of good news to come out of Friday, and even then it was muted. The film earned $16.4 million on Friday, which is enough for first place, but it is also about 3.3% lower than the original’s opening day and sequels really need to open faster than the original. Its outlook for the rest of the weekend is mixed when compared to the first film. Both films earned identical A- CinemaScores, but the sequel’s reviews are weaker and sequels tend to be more front-loaded. Look for an opening weekend of about $38 million. This is a little better than predicted and almost as much as it cost to make. Hopefully it is enough to get to $100 million domestically, because we could use some good news at the box office. Even if it doesn’t quite get to the century mark, as long as it doesn’t completely collapse, it will break even sooner rather than later.

Warcraft opened in second place with $10.71 million, which is almost exactly what was expected. Bad reviews and a mediocre B+ CinemaScore will likely result in short legs, giving the film about $25 million over the weekend. That’s a disaster for a film that cost $160 million to make, but fortunately it is doing much better internationally. In fact, it already has $144 million in China as of Friday. On the downside, studios don’t get a large share of the box office dollar in China, so the film will need it will need roughly $400 million outside of China to have any chance of breaking even any time soon.

I once got a fortune cookie that said, “Lower expectations to avoid disappointment.” I bring this up because I’ve read a story that claims Now You See Me 2’s Friday debut wasn’t a disappointment because it didn’t fall as fast as some of the other sequels that came out recently. While this is technically true, its Friday debut was just $8.4 million, which is 17% lower than its predecessor’s opening day. Like The Conjuring 2, this film earned an A- CinemaScore, while its reviews were weaker than the first film’s. Add in the sequel effect and it will likely make $22 million over the weekend, which is about 25% less than its predecessor’s opening. This is really bad for a film that cost 25% more and I don't think Lionsgate will break even on this one.

- Friday Box Office

- The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist Comparisons
- Now You See Me Comparisons
- Warcraft Comparisons

Filed under: Friday Estimates