“The Nun II” spooked the box office with $13 million on opening day, including $3.1 million in previews.
The ninth chapter in the Warner Bros. “Conjuring” series is expected to open around to $31.3 million this weekend from 3,728 locations, a drop from the record-setting original movie but enough to surpass Denzel Washington and Sony’s “The Equalizer 3” on North American charts. Its 2018 predecessor “The Nun” remains the biggest opening in the “Conjuring” universe with $53.8 million, and it’s the highest-grossing worldwide installment in the franchise as well with $365.5 million.
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Taissa Farmiga and Bonnie Aarons return as Sister Irene and the titular Nun, respectively, with Jonas Bloquet, Storm Reid and Anna Popplewell joining the franchise. Filmmaker Michael Chaves returns to the series after previously directing “The Curse of La Llorona” and “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.”
“The Nun II” is aiming to land in the middle of the “Conjuring” universe, likely beating 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 coming in right behind “Annabelle: Creation” ($35 million). The horror sequel earned a “C+” grade on CinemaScore and 45% from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Equalizer 3” looks to take silver in its sophomore outing, scoring $3.4 million on Friday from 3,965 locations. The third entry in Denzel Washington’s assassin-thriller series is expected to add $11.6 million to its domestic box office total. “The Equalizer 3” opened last weekend with $42.3 million to score the second-biggest Labor Day debut in history. It has generated about $59 million to date.
At No. 3, Focus Features’ “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” grossed $3.7 million on Friday from 3,650 theaters and is aiming for a so-so $9.5 million weekend debut. The romantic comedy received a “B” grade on CinemaScore and 27% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The third installment in the Nia Vardalos-led rom-com trilogy follows the Portokalos family in Greece for a family reunion after the death of Gus, played by Michael Constantine (who died in 2021). Along with Vardalos, who also directed the film, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” includes John Corbett, Louis Mandylor, Elena Kampouris, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone, Lainie Kazan and Andrea Martin.
The Hindi-language action thriller “Jawan” took fourth place with a $1.7 million opening day. Directed by Atlee as his first Hindi film, “Jawan” is expected to score $5.5 million in its weekend debut at the North America box office. The film stars Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan (“Pathaan”) in a dual role as a father and son.
Rounding out the top five, Greta Gerwig and Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” earned $1.38 million, a 45% drop from last Friday. The hot-pink fantasy comedy, which overtook “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” as the highest-grossing worldwide release of the year with $1.38 billion, is expected to gross $4.9 million in its eighth weekend of release.
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