Creepy ‘Nun’ Delivers Heavenly Box Office

The 2018 Fall Movie Season got underway this weekend the same way it has for the past three years: with the huge opening of a Warner Brothers release just after Labor Day. Two years ago, it was the Tom Hanks drama Sully. Last year, it was the horror phenomenon IT and this year, it is The Nun,which scared up one heavenly debut. The same can’t be said for fellow newcomers Peppermint or God Bless the Broken Road, both which sputtered in their respective starts.

The latest spin off from 2013’s The Conjuring, The Nun scared an estimated $53.5 million from 3,876 theaters in its first three days of release. The opening was a franchise record-setter and the year’s second-biggest start so far for an R-rated feature following May’s Deadpool 2. Adding to The Nun’s financial fortune was a dynamite $77.5 million start from 60 overseas markets.

While a lot of money was easily handed over to The Nun, positive feedback was a little harder to come by. Critics damned the $22 million production with a scary 28% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 46/100 from Metacritic. Perhaps even scarier was what ticket buyers had to say about the horror feature. Whereas fans of the five-year old Conjuring franchise have given the two Conjuring and Annabelle features “A”s and “B”s, respectively, they graded The Nun with a troubling “C” on CinemaScore. Even if the film burns out by the end of the month, it will become Warner’s third $100 million hit in a row.

They may no longer rule the box office, but Crazy Rich Asians continued to be a box office force to be reckoned with. The beloved Warner comedy finished its fourth weekend with an estimated $13.6 million from 3,865 theaters, off only 38% from its holiday frame. After one month of release, Crazy Rich Asians has romanced a whopping $136.2 million so far and is looking to finish somewhere near the $180 million mark. Overseas, the film has earned $28 million so far.

Firing blanks in its third place debut was STX’s action flick Peppermint with an estimated $13.2 million from 2,980 theaters. Critics had kind things to say about Jennifer Garner’s performance in the latest thriller from Taken director Pierre Morel, but that was about it. Peppermint scored an awful 13% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 29/100 on Metacritic. Opening weekend crowds were a tad kinder to Peppermint, giving the film a “B+” on CinemaScore.

Down, but not out yet, in fourth place was Warner’s shark tale The Meg with an estimated $6 million from 3,511 theaters. Down 43%, the new domestic total for The Meg is $131.5 million. Internationally, the Jason Statham flick has bagged $360 million so far.

Rounding out the top five this weekend was Sony/ScreenGems’ Searching with an estimated $4.5 million from 2,009 screens. Off 26%, Searching has found $14.3 million so far.

  1.  Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Paramount) $3.8 million (-46%); $212 million
  2.  Disney’s Christopher Robin (Disney) $3.2 million (-40%); $91.7 million
  3.  Operation: Finale (MGM) $3 million (-50%); $14 million
  4.  Alpha (Sony) $2.5 million (-45%); $32.4 million
  5.  BlacKkKlansman (Focus) $2.5 million (-39%); $43.4 million

Next weekend sees the arrival of The Predator, A Simple Favor, White Boy Rick and Unbroken: Path to RedemptionThe Predator should have no problem knocking The Nun down a peg to take over the box office throne.

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