‘Nun II’ Edges ‘Haunting in Venice’ as Box Office Slows Down

The box office is seeing its tightest race for No. 1 this year between Disney/20th Century’s “A Haunting in Venice” and Warner Bros./New Line’s “The Nun II,” but it is also seeing the lowest overall weekend grosses since this year’s Super Bowl weekend.

Industry estimates have the overall totals sliding down to approximately $64.5 million, and ongoing weekend numbers are expected to remain in that territory until the release of Taylor Swift’s concert film next month. The good news is that this low figure is still better than last year’s terrible September, with a year-over-year rise of 23%.

We won’t know until final totals come in on Monday who is officially No. 1, but for now, estimates are giving the edge to “The Nun II” with $14.7 million in its second weekend. That gives the “Conjuring” horror film a 10-day total of $56 million.

While that running total is only slightly higher than the $53.5 million that the first “Nun” made in just its opening weekend five years ago, “The Nun II” is still going to find theatrical success against its $35 million budget before marketing costs.

“A Haunting in Venice” is just behind “Nun II” with a $14.5 million opening weekend from 3,305 theaters. That’s slightly better than the $12.8 million opening weekend of Kenneth Branagh’s 2022 Poirot film “Death on the Nile,” though it comes in at roughly half of the $28.6 million opening that his 2017 adaptation of “Murder on the Orient Express” opened to.

In this case, the good news is that “Haunting” has a lower reported production budget — $60 million, compared to $90 million for “Death on the Nile.” Reception has been solid, if not spectacular, with a B on CinemaScore and 79% positive critics score on Rotten Tomatoes. Disney/20th Century will be hoping for word-of-mouth to spread, particularly among older moviegoers, on this horror-tinged mystery.

In limited release, Sony put out Craig Gillespie’s “Dumb Money” in eight theaters and grossed a solid $217,000 for a per-theater average of approximately $27,000. The retelling of the 2021 GameStop meme stock phenomenon has been well received by critics at the Toronto International Film Festival with an 84% positive Rotten Tomatoes score, and will expand to more cities next weekend before its wide release on Sept. 29.

Among holdovers, another Sony release, “The Equalizer 3,” is in third with $7.2 million in its third weekend and a running total of $73.6 million. Focus Features’ “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” saw $4.7 million this weekend, bringing its total to $18.5 million. That’s roughly half of the $36.5 million 10-day total of its 2016 predecessor.

Warner Bros.’ “Barbie,” which hit video-on-demand this past week, is holding on to a top 5 spot in its ninth weekend in theaters with $3.9 million, bringing its domestic total to $625 million. That puts it in the No. 11 spot on the all-time domestic list, passing the unadjusted $623 million total for “The Avengers.”

Finally, Universal’s “Oppenheimer” added $12.8 million worldwide this weekend. That brings its global total to $912.7 million, passing “Bohemian Rhapsody” to become the highest-grossing biopic in box office history.

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