The Nun conjures a franchise-best $53.5-million opening weekend

Fans of The Conjuring Universe are keeping the faith.

The fifth and latest installment of Warner Bros. and New Line’s interconnected horror franchise, The Nun, is on track to earn an estimated $53.5 million in ticket sales at 3,876 theaters in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, topping the box office and delivering the series’ best debut.

The Nun’s opening will not only blow past the previous high-water mark of $41.9 million, set by The Conjuring back in 2013, it will also register as the second-highest September debut ever, not adjusting for inflation, behind last year’s Stephen King smash It (which bowed to $117.2 million). The Nun cost a modest $22 million to make and was projected to open with about $36 million in North America. Overseas, it will add about $77.5M from 60 markets this weekend, for a worldwide total of $131 million.

Taken together, the Conjuring movies — The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and The Nun — have grossed more than $1.3 billion at the global box office.

Directed by Corin Hardy (The Hallow), The Nun stars Demián Bechir and Taissa Farmiga as a troubled priest and a young novitiate who are called upon to investigate a grisly incident at a Romanian monastery in the 1950s. The film received mixed to negative reviews, while moviegoers gave it a C CinemaScore, the lowest of the series.

Martin Maguire/Warner Bros.

Also arriving in theaters this weekend is the Jennifer Garner action movie Peppermint, which will gross an estimated $13.3 million domestically, in line with expectations and good for third place. Directed by Pierre Morel and released by STX Entertainment, the film stars Garner as a wife and mother who transforms herself into a lethal vigilante after her husband and daughter are killed in front of her.

Critics panned the movie, though audiences gave it a decent B+ CinemaScore.

Rounding out the top five are two more Warner Bros. releases — the glitzy rom-com Crazy Rich Asians, with $13.6 million, and the shark flick The Meg, with $6 million — and Sony’s desktop thriller Searching, with $4.5 million. Warner Bros. has had the No. 1 movie for five weeks in a row.

Check out the Sept. 3-9 figures below.

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. BlacKkKlansman — $2.6 million


10. Alpha — $2.5 million

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