'The Conjuring 3' & 'A Quiet Place Part II' horror movie releases see healthy US box office sales

Despite a scary pandemic, people still want to be scared.

Belmont Lay | June 07, 2021, 12:37 PM

It seems people still want to feel scared, despite a scary ongoing pandemic.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It earned an estimated US$24 million (S$31.8 million) over the weekend, making it the biggest R-rated opening of the pandemic, according to studio estimates on June 6.

And this is in the midst of the North American theatrical landscape still hobbled by the pandemic.

Most Canadian theatres remain closed and around 27 per cent of U.S. locations are still shuttered, but many chains are allowing vaccinated customers to go mask-free in theatres.

Two horror movies opening at around the same time is seldom heard of, but this outing has shown audiences still want to be afraid.

The Conjuring 3 and A Quiet Place II making a splash

The third movie in the franchise from Warner Bros, which opens in Singapore on July 1, overtook A Quiet Place Part II.

A Quiet Place Part II saw its box office takings fall 59 per cent in North America after its triumphant first weekend.

The sequel by Paramount earned US$19.5 million in ticket sales, bringing its North American total to US$88.6 million.

It opens in Singapore on June 10.

The Conjuring 3 has Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga returning as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.

This is the first Conjuring since 2016 and the films have thus far grossed over US$1.8 billion.

This is also the first not to be helmed by James Wan.

It is directed by Michael Graves.

With an additional US$26.8 million from international territories, globally, the R-rated pic has grossed over US$57.1 million.

Takings considered disappointing in pre-pandemic era

The Conjuring 3's opening might have been considered disappointing in a pre-pandemic world, as the previous installments both opened at around US$40 million.

But this is already the third films in a horror franchise and fatigue has set in and the film is also currently streaming free for subscribers on HBO Max.

Warner Media did not say how many people watched it on streaming over the weekend or how many new customers signed up for the service.

Major studios are using their biggest titles to bait subscribers to their streaming services and embracing a hybrid day-and-date release strategy.

A Quiet Place Part II had the rare distinction of being exclusively in theatres, but it will be for a relatively shorter stint than usual before it hits Paramount+.

At third place: Cruella

Cruella, by Walt Disney Co, opened in theatres last weekend, and was also made available to rent on Disney+ for US$29.99 (S$38.98 in Singapore).

The Emma Stone and Emma Thompson film added US$11.2 million from 3,922 theatres this weekend to take third place.

Disney also did not say how much it earned from streaming rentals, but the company did note the drop from last weekend was only 48 per cent.

Globally, Cruella has earned US$87.1 million thus far.

F9: Making it big in China

The biggest winner it seems is Fast & Furious 9.

Universal's latest in the Fast & Furious franchise, F9, continued to pick up speed prior to its U.S. debut on June 25.

F9 has already grossed US$256 million from eight territories over the weekend and it became one of only 19 U.S. movies to have earned more than US$200 million in China.