The Conjuring Universe has been going strong now for five years, and it seems that its power is only increasing. Sure, the franchise isn’t exactly putting up Marvel Studios numbers, but if you look at things from a profit ratio standpoint the scary movies are definitely raking in a whole lot of cash. Not only have all of the films made north of $250 million worldwide with rather small budgets, but now we have news that thanks to this past weekend’s box office haul Corin Hardy‘s The Nun is the new brand champion with a total of $330 million earned.
Before this fall it was James Wan’s The Conjuring 2 that stood as the most successful title in The Conjuring Universe, with a total of $320.4 million brought in, but this weekend’s international ticket sales for The Nun pushed it to number one. And while it still stands at number two when it comes to domestic numbers (the original The Conjuring made $137.4 million in the U.S. back in 2013), it has still made enough to be called the sixth biggest R-rated horror movie of all time here at home.
Part of the reason why these box office records are so interesting is because of the larger public response to The Nun. While most of The Conjuring Universe titles received positive marks from professional critics, that was not the case for this new release, and the lack of buzz hit the movie hard when it was in release. It was able to make a shocking $53.8 million in its first three day frame, but then notably plunged over 66 percent in week two. At that point it was excusable to think that its box office story was mostly over, but it has hung around in the Top 10, and has a domestic/international box office ratio consistent with the other features in the franchise. In short, it’s made a hell of a lot of money for a project that only cost $22 million before marketing.
Obviously this all looks great for the future of The Conjuring Universe, particularly if their upcoming projects can promise greater quality than what The Nun offered – which would stop bad second week drop-offs. There is a lot in the works right now, including Annabelle 3 (which is going into production this fall), The Conjuring 3 (which is expected to start filming next year), and The Crooked Man (which is still in its script stage). It looks like the plan moving forward is going to be to release a new movie each year, and that very much seems sustainable in this current climate, and it could even allow it to ultimately live past the end of the on-going horror boom.