‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’ and the book adaptation ‘The Glass Castle’ also open nationwide this weekend.
New Line’s Annabelle: Creation is scaring up strong business in its box-office debut for a projected domestic launch in the $36 million-$39 million range, according to early Friday returns.
The origin film, directed by David F. Sandberg, is the fourth installment in the studio’s Conjuring horror franchise. It’s pacing to gross as much as $17 million from 3,502 theaters on Friday, including a strong $4 million in Thursday previews.
Annabelle, which opened in October 2014, earned $2.1 million in late-night showings on its way to a $37.1 million domestic debut. It earned $256.9 million worldwide. Conjuring 2 took in $3.4 million in previews in June 2016 on its way to a $40.4 million debut in North America. The highest earner in the Conjuring universe, it has grabbed $320.3 million worldwide.
The new installment follows a doll maker and his wife who, after losing their little girl, welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home. But they soon become the target of the doll maker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.
Annabelle: Creation is also impressing overseas, where it has grossed $9.5 million in its first two days, including a Thursday haul of $1.2 million in South Korea.
Elsewhere in North America, Open Road’s animated sequel The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is projected to open to a subdued $8 million-$10 million from 4,003 theaters. Friday’s gross will include $330,000 in Thursday previews.
The first Nut Job film debuted to $19.4 million in January 2014.
Nutty by Nature, about a group of animals trying to stop their serene park from being turned into an amusement venture, features a voice cast that includes Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Jackie Chan and Katherine Heigl. Cal Brunker directed it.
Lionsgate’s adaptation The Glass Castle is opening in far fewer theaters, or 1,461 locations, for a projected $4.5 million-$6.5 million launch.
Based on former gossip columnist and author Jeannette Walls’ best-selling 2005 memoir, the story follows a young girl and her siblings who grow up with parents who choose to live an unorthodox (and often homeless) life. Brie Larson plays Walls in the film while Woody Harrelson plays Walls’ alcoholic father Rex. Naomi Watts plays Walls’ mother. The film sees Larson reunite with her Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton.
Aug. 11, 12:45 p.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.