The Nun's opening weekend help propel the franchise to historical proportions.
Despite off-setting reviews from critics and audience members, The Nun opened in first place with just over $53 million, domestically, and $77.5 million overseas. The horror film, the fifth movie in New Line's The Conjuring franchise, set records as the second-highest opening weekend for the month of September of all time, situated just behind last year's It. It was also the largest opening weekend for any of the franchise's films, which kicked off in 2013 with The Conjuring.
With The Nun's worldwide opening weekend box office total of $131 million, The Conjuring series has earned over $1.333 billion. It has now surpassed recent record holder, the Alien series that earned $1.32 billion, not taking inflation into account.
The Conjuring films are not, however, the highest-grossing R-rated series to hit big screens. According to Forbes, The Matrix trilogy, Deadpool duo, and The Hangover series have all earned more than The Conjuring films, but that could change.
The Nun just opened, so it still has room to raise that record-breaking total. Horror films, traditionally, have a hard time holding over after opening weekend. But, movies like It are the exception. The Nun is suffering poor reviews, though, which could keep its legs from growing too much higher.
As for films that could battle those numbers, the Alien franchise has no new films in production, neither does other under-the-radar franchises. Resident Evil has stalled in creating new films. Saw and Paranormal Activity, despite having many, many films in their respective series, aren't even close to earning $1 billion. The most likely competitor is the It franchise. It: Chapter Two is currently filming. The first film earned over $700 million.
Outside of R-rated horror franchises, Jurassic Park currently holds the record with an impressive $4.935 billion. The Conjuring films aren't likely to ever reach that.
Though The Nun's demise is already written, thanks to those lousy reviews and even lousier CinemaScore, the huge opening weekend is good news for the horror genre. Clearly there's an audience there and many will be hoping studios continue to create unique and new stories moving forward.
The next horror film to hope for the gold is David Gordon Green's Halloween, starring Jamie Lee Curtis. The film, which picks up after the original Halloween 2, earned rave reviews after its worldwide premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.