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For your standard summer box office, this past weekend wasn't all that much to write home about. Two of the three wide releases were sequels, and 2016's summer has not been particularly kind to films whose titles have ended in numerals. However, The Conjuring 2 came away with the weekend win, and it did so in fairly impressive fashion, putting up a number that very nearly made it the biggest horror movie opening of all time
While the final numbers have not quite come in yet, it looks like The Conjuring 2 will finish its opening weekend at about $40.35 million. This will make it the third highest opening for a horror movie of all time, according to Deadline, behind 2009's remake of Friday the 13th and the first entry in The Conjuring franchise. While not being able to outdo its predecessor, The Conjuring 2 came remarkably close, as early reports actually had it tracking ahead of the first film. Warner Bros. and director James Wan will surely call this one a win, as most movie sequels that have not starred men in tights have had a hard time at this summer's box office.
While Captain America: Civil War has had a stellar summer, even by Marvel Studios standards, everything else released this summer that has been a follow up has had a much harder time. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising was not able to match the response that the first film received from fans. Johnny Depp's return in Alice Through the Looking Glass was not nearly as critic-proof as the first entry. The newest X-Men film has also put up disappointing numbers. The Conjuring 2 itself went up against the opening of Now You See Me 2. While the first film had been a surprise hit, the sequel finished in third place for the weekend behind Warcraft, which was not expected to perform well.
The success for The Conjuring 2 is all the more impressive when you consider how little the film spent on marketing when compared to its competitors. This means that when added to the reported $50 million production budget, the $40 million take is just that much closer to breaking even for Warner Bros. Of course, when added to the $50 million the film took overseas, the movie is likely already in the black. A number of factors are being credited with the film's success, including the following that director James Wan has built, as well as the simple fact that there hasn't been a solid horror movie in theaters for awhile, meaning that the audience was hungry for anything that might scare them.
At the end of the day studios care less about being the biggest movie and more about simply being profitable, and so it looks like The Conjuring 2 has done its job. Were you one of the fans who checked it out this weekend? Let us know what you thought in the comments.