“The Curse of La Llorona,” Warner Bros. and New Line’s horror film from the producers of “The Conjuring” movies, earned $2.75 million in Thursday box office previews.
Both Fox’s “Breakthrough” and Disneynature’s “Penguins” opened early as part of the Easter holiday weekend, making “La Llorona” the sole weekend release. All three are hoping to compete with Warner Bros. and DC’s tongue-in-cheek superhero film “Shazam!” for the top spot, and “La Llorona” is looking at a three-day opening between $17-20 million. New Line’s “Conjuring” spinoff film “The Nun” opened in September last year and made $5.4 million at the Thursday box office ahead of a $53.8 million opening.
For other more recent comparisons, “Pet Sematary” from earlier this month made $2.3 million in its Thursday previews opening against “Shazam!” and made $24.5 million in its opening weekend. January’s “Escape Room” also made $2.3 million from Thursday previews and made $18.2 million when it opened. New Line’s “Lights Out” from 2016 had an opening weekend of $21.6 million after earning $1.8 million in Thursday previews.
“La Llorona” is the first of three horror films that Warner Bros. and New Line are releasing this year, the others being “Annabelle Comes Home” and “It: Chapter Two.”
Directed by Michael Chaves, the film follows a social worker in the 1970s Los Angeles whose family is endangered by an infamous Mexican ghost that kidnaps children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, the woman and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope to survive La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices to keep evil at bay.
Linda Cardellini and Raymond Cruz star in “La Llorona,” which currently has a 35% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Disney and Fox’s “Breakthrough” earned an estimated $1.58 million on Thursday, bringing its two-day total so far to $3.4 million. The faith-based film from producer DeVon Franklin earned a coveted “A” Cinemascore from audiences. The drama stars “This is Us” actress Chrissy Metz in a movie inspired by a true story about a mom who finds her son has recovered from a fall through ice that should have killed him. It’s projected for an opening in the teens and as high as $20 million.
Disneynature’s “Penguins” also earned an “A” Cinemascore and has earned $956,000 so far from its two-day total. It follows other nature documentaries including “Born in China,” “Bears,” “Chimpanzee” and “Monkey Kingdom.”