Anthony LaPaglia in ‘Annabelle: Creation’. 

Annabelle: Creation, the latest chapter in Warner Bros’ successful horror franchise The Conjuring, opened on top of both the Australian and US box office last weekend.

It continues the incredible career of Melbourne filmmaker James Wan who, after creating the Saw franchise with friend Leigh Whannell, directed the first two Conjuring films and produced the spin-offs Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation. Wan is currently filming Aquaman on the Gold Coast for Warner Bros.

The low-budget horror film, starring Australians Miranda Otto and Anthony LaPaglia, opened with $2.287 million from 231 screens, its screen average of $9,903 almost double WB stablemate Dunkirk’s $5,129 per screen in its fourth week. The Christopher Nolan war film earned $1.728 million for a total of $18.999 million, which will see it move among the year’s top ten films this week.

In North America, Annabelle: Creation also topped the weekend with a gross of $US35.04 million ahead of the Dunkirk’s $US11.4 million.

In Oz, the top 20 titles’ receipts rang in $10.4 million, down 6 per cent on the previous weekend, according to the Motion Pictures Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA).

Universal’s Despicable Me 3, third for the year, added $156,494 for a $32.425 million total and Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming added another $297,646 for $25.211 million (seventh overall in 2017).

Luc Besson’s sci-fi fantasy, Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets, was the weekend’s other major new release, opening with $1.259 million from 433 screens to rank third for the weekend. Icon’s arthouse film, Wind River, opened with $218,590 on 67 screens.

Doug Liman’s sniper thriller starring John Cena, The Wall, bombed on limited release for Roadshow Films with $22,158 from 32 screens. And the Al Gore-led environmental documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power earned $73,740 in its first weekend on 70 screens, bringing its total to $157,697. The original An Inconvenient Truth earned $4.19 million in 2006.

Indian films continued to work, with Toilet Ek Prem Katha earning $120,839 from 16 screens and Velaiyilla Pattathari 2 taking $78,499 on 19 screens. Chinese box office champ Wolf Warrior 2 remained in the top ten with another $383,902 this weekend lifting its Australian box office to $1.3 million.

Among other major films, War For The Planet of the Apes ranked fourth for the weekend with $1.055 million bringing its total to $8.867 million and Universal’s Atomic Blonde added another $900,000 for $3.683 million overall. Romantic comedy The Big Sick held well with $822,571 in its second week of release, only dropping 25 per cent.


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