'The Nun' Scares Competitors at Box Office With Best Opening for 'Conjuring' Franchise
Warner Bros. Pictures

The 'Conjuring 2' spin-off debuts atop the North American box office with an estimated $53.5 million, breaking the record previously held by 2013's 'The Conjuring' with $41.8 million.

AceShowbiz - "The Nun" has helped Warner Bros. Pictures maintain its domination at North American box office. The Corin Hardy-directed supernatural horror movie easily edged out competitors at the chart, taking in an estimated $53.5 million from 3,876 locations on its debut weekend.

That marks the biggest opening of any title in the "Conjuring" franchise, breaking the record previously held by 2013's "The Conjuring" with $41.8 million. It also posted the second-best September debut behind "It", also distributed by Warner Bros., which launched to $123.4 million last year.

"The Nun" opening gross surpassed industry estimates and even surprised Warner Bros. itself. "We knew going into the weekend that 'The Nun' was looking very good, but we couldn't have predicted this level of success," said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. head of domestic distribution. "We anticipate strong word of mouth to carry the film well into the fall."

The spin-off to "The Conjuring 2" easily beat "Crazy Rich Asians" (also released by Warner Bros.), which had held onto the first position for three weeks in a row. The romantic comedy movie now fell down to No. 2 with a solid $13.6 million (only down 38.1%).

Prior to the "Crazy Rich Asians" No. 1 debut, Warner Bros. topped the domestic chart with "The Meg", making this the fifth week in a row a Warner Bros. movie led the chart. Speaking of the studio's winning streak, Goldstein said, "The calendar has 12 months and 52 weeks. We had gotten a fair amount of criticism for what our release schedule looked like in the summer, but I kept on saying it's not about summer, it's about the whole year."

The shark thriller, "The Meg", now landed at No. 4 with additional $6 million (down 42.8%). At No. 3 is newcomer "Peppermint". The Jennifer Garner-led action movie brought in approximately $13.3 million from 2,980 theaters. Rounding out the top five is "Searching" starring John Cho, which dropped one spot from last week's No. 4 with additional $4.5 million.

Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for Aug. 31-Sept. 2:
  1. "The Nun" - $53.5 million
  2. "Crazy Rich Asians" - $13.6 million
  3. "Peppermint" - $13.3 million
  4. "The Meg" - $6 million
  5. "Searching" - $4.5 million
  6. "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" - $3.8 million
  7. "Christopher Robin" - $3.2 million
  8. "Operation Finale" - $3 million
  9. "Alpha" - $2.5 million
  10. "BlacKkKlansman" - $1.6 million

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