The Nun Wins Box Office Crown

“The Nun” Scares Up a New Franchise Record


September 7-9, 2018

(estimates from


The Nun $53.5 million
Crazy Rich Asians  $13.6 million
Peppermint $13.2 million
The Meg $6.0 million
Searching  $4.5 million


Who knew The Conjuring would end up being one of the most viable franchises of the decade? The modestly budgeted horror flick without any A-list stars has been a wild success. The fifth film in the series, The Nun, opened with a massive $53.5 million, the best debut yet. And keep in mind, both The Nun and the two Annabelle films didn't even have the recognizable faces of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. That makes The Nun the second-best September debut after the record-breaking opening of It last year.

Crazy Rich Asians finally slipped to second place, but only dropped 38 percent in its fourth weekend, which proves it's still one of the summer's biggest success stories. And that was still more than Peppermint could manage in its first weekend ($13.3 million). That's on par with what Bruce Willis' dreadful Death Wish remake earned in its opening frame earlier this year.

The Meg slipped to fourth, and it's now made less than Crazy Rich Asians, despite opening with $44 million. Still, it's a huge international hit and the biggest shark movie ever that's not named Jaws. Searching added even more theaters, though it fell 25 percent. However, it's turning a healthy profit for a low-budget movie with an Asian-American lead.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Kusama: Infinity, a documentary on the artist Yayoi Kusama. The doc averaged $15,200 on its pair of screens. I'm still hoping to catch her Infinity Mirrors exhibit when it comes to Atlanta later this fall.
  • You can put Kin on the year's list of major flops. Despite its lower budget, the film dropped 72 percent despite playing on more than 2,000 screens. It dropped from 12th to 17th place.
  • AXL is on that list, too. In its third weekend, it shed more than 1,100 screens. It's only made $6 million to date.

Next week:

The Predator will deliver the goods. Despite the recent behind-the-scenes controversy, it should open with at least $40 million. That would be the best debut of the franchise. And that should be more than enough to take care of A Simple Favor and White Boy Rick, neither of which should make more than $10 million next weekend.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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