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Annabelle: Creation tops US box office

Annabelle: Creation

Story by Jack Foley

R-RATED horror prequel Annabelle: Creation conjured up an impressive $35 million at the US box office to successfully scare off the opposition and grab the No.1 spot.

The figure was less than the opening takes of the previous three films in the successful Conjuring franchise but it provided some welcome good news in an otherwise dark chapter in American box office history.

Overall, revenue was down more than 30% from the same weekend last year with the weekend’s other major new release, the animated offering The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, struggling to gain much love, and holdovers such as The Dark Tower and Detroit continuing to struggle.

That means the focus of the headlines was Annabelle, directed by David F. Sandberg, which follows a doll maker and his wife who, after losing their little girl, welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home. However, far from offering them the peace they crave, they soon become the target of the doll maker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

By way of comparison, The Conjuring 2 opened to $40.4 million on its way to a global gross of $320.3 million in the summer of 2016, while Annabelle, a spin-off, debuted to $37.1 million in 2014. The Conjuring itself took in $41.9 million in 2013.

Commenting on Creation’s figures, Warner’s domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein said: “We would have been happy to hit $30 million considering the sluggish marketplace.”

The news was even better overseas for Annabelle: Creation, where it took in $35 million from 39 markets for an early foreign total of $36.7 million and a global bow of $71.7 million – underlining the continued strength of a good horror brand.

Elsewhere at the US box office, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk remained a formidable force in its fourth weekend, placing second with $11.4 million and crossing the $150 million mark – no small accomplishment for a World War II drama relying on an older audience and focused on a very British chapter in the history of the Second World War.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dunkirk also earned another $14.5 million overseas for a foreign tally of $210 million and $363.6 million worldwide.

Animated sequel The Nut Job 2 followed at No. 3 in the US with $8.9 million, less than half the $19.4 million of the original in January 2014, while Sony’s The Dark Tower, adapted from the Stephen King novel and starring Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba, fell from No. 1 to No. 4 in its second outing with $7.9 million for a disappointing 10-day US haul of $34.3 million. Hopes for a franchise appear to now be well and truly over.

Universal’s Girls Trip, which is now officially one of the most successful live-action comedies in recent times, rounded out the top five with $6.5 million for a US total of $97.2 million.

However, director Kathryn Bigelow’s real-life racial drama Detroit tumbled a massive 58% in its second weekend to $3 million for a disappointing US total of $13.4 million. It slid outside of the top 10, placing 13th.

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