The long-awaited “Annabelle” sequel opens in theaters this weekend, and the Thursday night previews show a promising start for the horror-thriller. Last night, “Annabelle: Creation” earned an estimated $4M in previews, which is twice gross that the original saw back in 2014 ($2.1M). The estimate even beats the previews for the original “The Conjuring” thriller, which grossed $3.3M in previews in 2013. “The Conjuring 2” did slightly better than the original, bringing in $3.4M in previews back in 2016.
The film still has a tough box-office weekend ahead, “Annabelle: Creation” is opening against Brie Larson’s “The Glass Castle,” and the animated-comedy “The Nut Job 2”. If “Annabelle: Creation” wants to topple the original “Annabelle” record, it will have to gross over $37M over the its debut weekend. The original “Annabelle” went on to make $84M domestically, and almost $257M worldwide. To overthrow “The Conjuring” films, the Annabelle sequel will have to gross more than $40M over the weekend, and gross over $320M in theaters worldwide.
The Warner Bros. Pictures‘ thriller “Annabelle: Creation” was directed by David F. Sandberg, and features Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, and Lulu Wilson. The original film in the series was directed by John R. Leonetti, and featured Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis, and Alfre Woodard.
The big challenge ahead for “Annabelle: Creation” is “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” which is opening across 4,000 locations, that’s almost as many as locations as “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” had in 2016. There have been fewer animated-comedies than usual this summer, and families may be eager to get to the kids to the theater for a few hours to beat the summer doldrums before school starts. “The Nut Job 2” was directed by Cal Brunker, and features the voice talents of Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, and Maya Rudolph.
“The Glass Castle” will certainly take a bite out of “Annabelle: Creation” as well, but the film is only opening across 1,461 locations. “The Glass Castle” was directed by Destin Daniel, and features Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts.
Whichever film wins the weekend has an outside chance to win next weekend as well. The only two major-releases hitting theaters next week are “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” and “Logan Lucky,” and while they both feature big-names, they haven’t exactly been building a lot of buzz before their debut. That might change as their respected studios crank-up the ad-spending going into release week, but “Annabelle: Creation” or “The Nut Job 2” could repeat a win if the studios are lucky. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” was directed by Patrick Hughes, and stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Gary Oldman, while “Logan Lucky” was directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Katherine Waterston, Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Katie Holmes, and Sebastian Stan.