The Nun, starring Taissa Farmiga (The Final Girls), Bonnie Aarons (The Conjuring 2) and Demián Bichir (Alien: Covenant) surpassed The Conjuring’s worldwide opening box office of just under $42 million domestically, one that was considered a very successful opening weekend for a horror film even just 5 years ago. The Nun opened to an additional international $77.5 million, totaling a little less than $131 million, reigning as Mother Superior over all of The Conjuring weekend opening releases.
James Wan’ s The Conjuring ushered in a new era of horror, reviving the themes of haunted houses and possession. The latest installment of the film series, The Nun, underwhelmed audiences, but had no trouble moving the masses to the theater . The opening weekend numbers are nothing short of a horror film miracle.
Usually I’ll wait a week or two before seeing a Wan film of any sorts at the theater in hopes of dodging the crowd and noisy teens. My initial viewing of The Conjuring was soiled from the aforementioned devils and I haven’t had the virtue of tolerance since. I saw The Nun Saturday night (again, in hopes of weeding out some of the regular Friday crowd) and much to my disdain, the theater was packed. However, when the eerie opening credits rolled the theater was silent and remained silent throughout. Apparently, football season is not as important in the south as I thought it to be. Wan’s terrifying saga was in no need of a Hail Mary, but got an extreme running pass up the field. When it comes to numbers, the scoreboard doesn’t lie.
Remember, dear readers, this is a spin-off. A spin-off that made more money than its heavyweight successor in a genre that can be as finicky as the Catholic Church itself. Colin Hardy’s (The Hallow) The Nun passing The Conjuring as far as money made in a weekend seems just as blasphemous. Now, there are some semantics at work here. In 2013 when The Conjuring was released there wasn’t nearly as much marketing done, it wasn’t released in nearly as many theaters as The Nun is (2,903 versus 3,876 theaters), nor was horror as popular among the masses as it is.
We are currently experiencing a horror renaissance where ticket sales are at an all-time high. More ticket sales means more products made available (think of all the cool shit we can buy now that we couldn’t buy 10 years ago!), more conventions to attend, more platforms to stream from, a larger community to celebrate our interests, and more importantly, more movies to be made.
The Nun has its flaws, but you can’t deny its oddly divine power here. Though it thankfully appears to be wrapping up The Warrens’ series, it has left a truly remarkable lasting effect. Wan’s scares and techniques remain to be an omniscient presence in a majority of haunting films released in the past few years and what I’m sure are still to come. While we can hate it at times, like life’s little inconveniences, we should praise it for what it is: a gift to us longtime horror aficionados.
Though we love to hate on the Waniverse as it’s progressed, by the number of films and the numbers in profit, all horror fans should be worshiping at its feet. The box office sure is. Say a prayer this genre steadily flourishes as it has been, and content continues to improve, while more and more followers join our spooky congregation. I have all the faith in the world that it will.
What did you think of this unorthodox installment? Confess your wicked thoughts on The Nun to us over on Twitter or on our Horror Movie Fiends Club Facebook page! We promise to forgive you.