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It is often relatively simple for a horror film to make a profit for a studio. They tend to be cheap to produce, and usually have broad international appeal. However, it's rare to see a horror franchise that becomes a bonafide blockbuster. That is where The Conjuring franchise comes into the equation. With David F. Sandberg's Annabelle: Creation now making a killing at the box office, it seems that the burgeoning Conjuring franchise has officially crossed the highly coveted $1 billion mark at the global box office.
According to a new report from THR, the folks at New Line and Warner Bros. can officially thank Annabelle: Creation for this massive accolade. The Annabelle-centric prequel has thus far earned more than $110 million at the worldwide box office (against a relatively meager $15 million budget, no less), bringing the collective total of these four films to $1 billion globally.
For the most part, films produced under The Conjuring franchise banner have also fared incredibly well with critics -- at least by the standards of horror movie franchises. Although the original Annabelle didn't debut to a phenomenal critical reaction when it debuted back in 2014, both of The Conjuring movies and Annabelle: Creation have received positive receptions from audiences and critics alike. With a strong fanbase backing the franchise as it moves into the future, it seems entirely likely that projects like The Nun, The Crooked Man, and The Conjuring 3 (which may not bring James Wan back into the fold to direct because of his Aquaman commitments) are poised to continue this upward trajectory.
Thinking critically, one of the biggest reasons for The Conjuring universe's success thus far has to do with the hands-on involvement by horror master James Wan. The mastermind behind the original Saw and the Insidious franchise, Wan has arguably proven his knack for this spooky genre as well as any other filmmaker working today. If he ultimately decides to stick around as a producer for the foreseeable future, then there's no reason not to assume that he can keep guiding these movies in the right direction.
There are a lot of other in-universe reasons to get excited about everything that The Conjuring films have to offer. The concept of a horror-themed cinematic universe has not been toyed with very often by Hollywood, so the idea of scary films that can interweave with one another feels like this franchise has taken a page from the Marvel Cinematic Universe's playbook. There's a fascinating chronology at play in these movies (which apparently begins with The Nun in the 1940s/1950s), and there are plenty of great directions to take this franchise as it moves into the future.