The Conjuring spin-off Annabelle, is a legitimate box-office hit. So what can be learned from it and from the film(s) that spawned it?
While the Ben Affleck vehicle Gone Girl may have been the number one movie in theaters last weekend, it can't compete with Annabelle, which took in over $60 million on a less-than $7 million budget.
But...having seen the movie, I can tell you, Annabelle leaves something to be desired from a film standpoint. It's far from the worst horror movie ever, but since the plan is to make an ongoing series of Conjuring movies, it's important to circle the wagons and assess what worked and what didn't, before this franchise starts suffering from a fatal case of diminishing returns.
So, let's look at a few things that worked, and some that didn't (and why). SPOILERS AHEAD.