Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Nun II” is kicking off the fall box office with a solid $32 million estimated opening weekend after grossing $13.1 million on Friday from 3,728 theaters, matching prerelease projections.
The first “Nun” was released in 2018 as a spinoff of New Line’s lucrative “Conjuring” horror series, and is the highest grossing film in the franchise with a $53 million domestic opening and a $365 million global box office total against a reported $22 million budget.
“Nun II” has never been projected to reach the heights of its predecessor, but is still beating the $24 million opening of the 2021 film “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” which released simultaneously in theaters and on streaming.
If walk-up traffic is higher than expected, “Nun II” could stretch closer to $35 million, which is what fellow “Conjuring” spinoff “Annabelle: Creation” earned in 2017 before inflation adjustment. Reception has been tepid among early moviegoers with a C+ on CinemaScore, but that’s actually better than the C that the first “Nun” received.
In second is Sony’s “The Equalizer 3,” which is proving to be front-loaded with an estimated $13 million second weekend for a 62.5% drop from its $34.6 million opening.
But that’s par for the course for the Antoine Fuqua-Denzel Washington trilogy, as “The Equalizer 2” fell 61% in its second weekend to $14 million in 2018. Inflation aside, “Equalizer 3” is keeping up with its predecessor with an estimated 10-day total of around $63 million.
In third place is Focus Features’ “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” with an estimated $9.5 million opening from 3,645 theaters. That is roughly half of the $17.8 million opening that “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” earned in 2016. Fans of the romantic comedy series also aren’t as enthused by this new installment with a B on CinemaScore, compared to an A- for the previous sequel.
In fourth is Bollywood import “Jawan,” the latest film from Indian box office star Shah Rukh Khan. Distributed by Yash Raj Films in the U.S., the action thriller is earning an estimated $6.9 million four-day opening from 827 theaters after its Thursday release. Globally, “Jawan” earned $16 million on its opening day, the highest worldwide launch ever for a Hindi-language film.
Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” completes the Top 5 with just under $5 million in its eighth weekend, bringing its total to $619.5 million. On Monday, “Barbie” will pass the unadjusted domestic total of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” to take the No. 12 spot on the all-time North America list and will take the No. 11 spot from “The Avengers” ($623 million) later this week.
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