‘Conjuring 2’ Beats This Year’s Curse of Summer Sequels


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From left, Frances O’Connor, Madison Wolfe and Lauren Esposito in “The Conjuring 2.”

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Warner Bros., via Associated Press

Hollywood had a mixed weekend at the box office. “The Conjuring 2” was strong. “Warcraft” was soft. “Now You See Me 2” was a shrug.

Beating this summer’s sequel curse, the well-reviewed “Conjuring 2” was the No. 1 draw at North American multiplexes between Friday and Sunday, taking in about $40.4 million, according to comScore, which compiles box office data. The first “Conjuring” arrived to $41.9 million in opening-weekend ticket sales. On the downside, New Line and its financing partners spent about $42 million to make the sequel, double the production cost of the original.

The poorly reviewed “Warcraft” was second, taking in about $24.4 million. That is a dismal start for a film that cost at least $160 million to make, but “Warcraft,” from Legendary Entertainment, has been doing surprisingly well overseas, where it has taken in roughly $261.7 million so far. The video-game adaptation notably received one of the largest releases ever in China; Legendary was purchased by China’s Dalian Wanda Group in January.

Lionsgate had hoped that “Now You See Me 2” would officially end a box-office cold streak, but the studio instead had to make do with a ho-hum $23 million in opening-weekend ticket sales for its magic-themed sequel, or 22 percent less than initial results for the original film. Lionsgate spent roughly $90 million on the sequel; the first movie cost $75 million.

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