‘Annabelle: Creation’ Scares Up Strong $4 Million at Thursday Box Office

Previous “Annabelle” film nabbed $2.1 million in 2014

“Annabelle: Creation” scored a whopping $4 million at the Thursday box office, a stronger preview number than the “Conjuring” films and the first “Annabelle” hit in previous years.

“Annabelle” made $2.1 million in preshows, while 2013’s “The Conjuring” earned $3.3 million and its 2016 sequel earned $3.4 million.

The first “Annabelle,” which was released in October 2014, made Halloween bucks with a $37.1 million opening against a $6.5 million budget. It went on to gross $84 million domestic and $256.8 million worldwide.

The sequel was tracking for an opening weekend of $27 million to $30 million, although Warner Bros. and New Line estimated lower at $25 million. “Creation” was produced for approximately $15 million. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is at 69 percent.

“Annabelle: Creation” follows up on the first “Annabelle” by showing the origins of the titular evil doll as it terrorizes a group of orphaned girls who take shelter in the house of the doll’s creator. The film is directed by David F. Sandberg from a script by Gary Dauberman, with James Wan and Peter Safran producing.

Also opening this weekend is “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature.” The film stars Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Jackie Chan, and Maya Rudolph. Cal Brunker directed the film and co-wrote it with Bob Barlen and Scott Bindley. Barlen, Harry Linden, and Sunghwan Kim are producers.

It’s expected to earn in the $15 million to $17 million range its opening weekend, while studio projections are at around $12 million to $12 million. Reviews have not been great — on Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a score of 14 percent.

Lastly, Lionsgate is releasing “The Glass Castle,” based on the best-selling memoir of Jeannette Walls. The biographical drama is expected to gross around $5 million this weekend.

The film stars Brie Larson as the author as she struggles to form her own life for herself while growing up in poverty with an alcoholic father (Woody Harrelson) and an eccentric mother (Naomi Watts). Destin Daniel Cretton is directing from a script he co-wrote with Andrew Lanham and Marti Noxon. Gil Netter and Ken Kao are producers.

Reviews have been mixed — “The Glass Castle” scored a Rotten Tomatoes score of 47 percent.