“The Conjuring 2” scared up $3.4 million at the Thursday night box office.
The horror film is eyeing a debut of $35 million, which should lead the pack of newcomers this weekend, but would be $6 million short of the $41 million the original “Conjuring” opened cleared in 2013.
The sequel once again stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Lorraine and Ed Warren, and follows the couple across the Atlantic to help rid a London family of a dangerous spirit haunting their home. James Wan returned to direct.
“The Conjuring 2” boasts a solid 74 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Its production budget was just above $40 million.
Universal and Legendary’s “Warcraft” earned $3.1 million at the Thursday previews from 2,632 theaters, starting at 7 p.m.
Made for a whopping $160 million, the video-game movie is expected to take in about $25 million as it opens in North America.
But while the film isn’t expected to make bank domestically, it’s already had an impressive run internationally. As of Thursday, “Warcraft” had earned a record $90 million plus in China, marking the biggest Thursday of all time in the country.
The third opener this weekend is Lionsgate’s ‘ “Now You See Me 2,” which grossed $1.75 million at the Thursday previews. In comparison, the 2013 film debuted to $1.5 million.
“Now You See Me” went on to clear $29.4 million in its debut. The star-studded stage-magic sequel is looking to open to $25 million, though the studio estimates a return in the low 20s.
Featuring returning cast members Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco and Morgan Freeman, as well as newcomers Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan and Michael Caine, the film about the continuing adventures of the Four Horsemen has not been well received by critics so far.
“Now You See Me 2” has a score of 38 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, 11 points lower than its predecessor.