In a spine-chilling return to theaters, “The Nun II,” the ninth installment in Warner Bros.’ “Conjuring” series, made a haunting impact on its opening day, summoning $13 million, including $3.1 million from previews. While this impressive debut marked a drop from the original movie’s record-setting performance, it is expected to conjure around $31.3 million throughout its opening weekend across 3,728 locations in North America.
This eerie sequel, starring Taissa Farmiga and Bonnie Aarons as Sister Irene and the titular Nun, is directed by Michael Chaves, who previously helmed “The Curse of La Llorona” and “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.” The original “The Nun” from 2018 remains the highest-grossing opening in the “Conjuring” universe, raking in $53.8 million, and it also holds the top spot in global earnings for the franchise with $365.5 million.
“The Nun II” aims to find its place within the “Conjuring” universe, likely surpassing the opening weekends of “Annabelle Comes Home” ($20.3 million), “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” ($24 million), “The Curse of La Llorona” ($26.5 million), and closely trailing “Annabelle: Creation” ($35 million). However, it should be noted that “The Nun II” received a “C+” CinemaScore rating and a 45% approval rating from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
Following its triumphant Labor Day weekend debut, “The Equalizer 3” is poised to secure second place in its sophomore outing, amassing $3.4 million on Friday from 3,965 locations. This action-packed thriller, starring Denzel Washington, is expected to add $11.6 million to its domestic box office total. It previously opened with $42.3 million and has accumulated approximately $59 million to date.
Landing at third place, Focus Features’ “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” brought in $3.7 million on Friday across 3,650 theaters, projecting a weekend debut of around $9.5 million. The romantic comedy received a “B” CinemaScore rating but garnered only a 27% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
Nia Vardalos, who also directed the film, leads the cast in the third installment of this rom-com trilogy. The story follows the Portokalos family in Greece as they reunite after the passing of Gus, portrayed by Michael Constantine, who sadly passed away in 2021. Alongside Vardalos, the film features John Corbett, Louis Mandylor, Elena Kampouris, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone, Lainie Kazan, and Andrea Martin.
In fourth place, the Hindi-language action thriller “Jawan” opened with an impressive $1.7 million on its opening day. Directed by Atlee in his first Hindi film, “Jawan” is projected to earn $5.5 million in its weekend debut in North America. Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan stars in a dual role as a father and son in this gripping tale.
Rounding out the top five, Greta Gerwig and Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” earned $1.38 million, experiencing a 45% drop from the previous Friday. The vibrant fantasy comedy, which recently claimed the title of the highest-grossing worldwide release of the year with $1.38 billion, is expected to gross $4.9 million in its eighth weekend in theaters.
As the weekend unfolds, these films continue to captivate audiences with their unique brand of storytelling, from supernatural scares to romantic reunions and thrilling action sequences.