This weekend saw a battle of horrors at the box office. Warner Bros.' The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It knocked Paramount's A Quiet Place Part II out of the top spot and into second with a domestic opening of $24 million. Globally, the threequel has made a little over $57 million. As we've noted several times before, this is extremely impressive, given the fact that all of WB's 2021 releases are concurrently available to stream on HBO Max for free the same day that they open in theaters.
Helmed by Conjuring Universe veteran Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona), The Devil Made Me Do It finds Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by the returning duo of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) tackling the early '80s court case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson. Johnson made U.S. history as the first person to use demonic possession as a legal defense after murdering his landlord, Alan Bono.
“For any franchise to seem fresh there needs to be invention and reinvention, and we wanted to tell a Conjuring story but in a way that we haven't seen before,” Chaves explained to SYFY WIRE ahead of the movie's opening. “This is, in a lot of ways, more a supernatural thriller — we're taking the Warrens on the road."
John Krasinski's tiptoeing Quiet Place sequel to his 2018 directorial debut brought in another $19.5 million, a 59 percent drop after its record-shattering $48 million debut over the Memorial Day weekend. After just two weeks in theaters, A Quiet Place Part II is already creeping up on $100 million in North America and has over $107 million worldwide.
"It's quite telling that horror films have grabbed the top two spots at the box office this weekend and having been a consistent draw since the beginning of cinema, the genre today remains a giddy delight for movie fans looking to escape the outside world by being scared indoors in the dark with a group of strangers," Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for Comscore, tells SYFY WIRE. "Given the massive drawing power of A Quiet Place Part II and now The Conjuring sequel, it looks like the studios made a good bet by going all in with at least seven wide release horror films set for release between now and mid-October."
Now in its second weekend, Disney's Cruella added $11.2 million to its fashionable ticket sales in North America. The film, which stars Oscar-winner Emma Stone as an up-and-coming Cruella de Vil, now has over $43.7 million domestically (it's also available to stream on Disney+ for an extra "Premier Access" fee of $29.99).
Cruella's box office performance thus far isn't mind-blowingly crazy and Disney isn't disclosing any streaming numbers just yet, but as Variety points out, the studio must be happy with the project if it decided to kickstart development on a sequel.
DreamWorks' Spirit Untamed trotted into fourth place at the domestic box office with an opening haul of $6.2 million. Directed by Tales of Arcadia alum Elaine Bogan, the family-friendly feature boasts an impressive voice cast of Isabela Merced (Dora and the Lost City of Gold), Marsai Martin (Black-ish), Mckenna Grace (Ghostbusters: Afterlife), Walton Goggins (Invincible), Julianne Moore (Lisey's Story), and Jake Gyllenhaal (Spider-Man: Far From Home).
Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon continues to chug along — although it seems to be slowing down — on domestic screens with a total of $53 million.
F9 crossed $244 million on the international stage this weekend thanks to an additional $13.37 million from eight territories. In addition, the ninth chapter in the Fast Saga is set to become one of only 19 U.S. features to hit $200 million at the Chinese box office. And remember: the film hasn't even opened in North America yet! The high-octane blockbuster hits domestic screens Friday, June 25.