‘Annabelle: Creation’ Jolts Listless Box Office With $36.5 Million Opening

Warner Bros./New Line’s horror prequel is close to matching the opening weekend of its 2014 predecessor


The box office was in need of some good news after a week filled with dismal earnings reports, and Warner Bros./New Line’s “Annabelle: Creation” was able to provide it with a strong opening Friday that signals a weekend total above analyst projections.

The $15 million horror prequel is currently on pace to make $36.5 million this weekend after making $15 million on Friday from 3,502 screens. That puts it very close to matching the $37.1 million opening the first “Annabelle” made in October 2014 en route to a $256.9 million global haul. Pre-weekend projections had “Annabelle: Creation” making $27-30 million this weekend. If more strong results on Saturday can push weekend estimates to $40 million, then the film will have matched the openings put of the “Conjuring” films, which “Annabelle” is a spin-off of. “Annabelle: Creation” currently has a score of 68 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a B on CinemaScore.

This also means that WB will take a 1-2 finish at the box office this weekend, as “Dunkirk” is taking advantage of weak competition to grab the No. 2 spot with $10.5 million in its fourth weekend. That will push Christopher Nolan’s Oscar contender past the $150 million domestic mark and put it close to passing $350 million worldwide.

In third is Open Road’s “The Nut Job 2,” which is performing poorly, as industry estimates put it at an $8-9 million opening after making $2.8 million from 4,002 screens on Friday. By comparison, the first “Nut Job” opened to a $19.4 million start in January 2014. Columbia/MRC’s “The Dark Tower” is looking at a hard fall to fourth with $7.3 million in its second weekend, a 63 percent drop from its $19.5 million opening.

Completing the top 5 is Universal’s “Girls Trip,” which will make an estimated $6.3 million in its fourth weekend to bring its domestic total to $97 million. That means the Queen Latifah-led comedy will become the first in its genre to pass the $100 million domestic mark this year. The No. 5 spot could be taken over by “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which crossed the $300 million domestic mark on Friday and is currently estimated to make $6.2 million in its opening weekend.

Down the list at No. 8 is Lionsgate’s “The Glass Castle,” which is estimated to make $5 million from a targeted release of 1,461 screens. The drama based on the memoirs of Jeannette Walls has a 50 percent RT rating and earned $1.65 million on Friday. Finally, Annapurna’s “Detroit” will drop out of the top 10 in its second weekend, making just $2.8 million and falling 60 percent from its lower-than-expected $7 million opening.