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Home » Will The Nun II be a smash hit? (Box Office Prediction)

Will The Nun II be a smash hit? (Box Office Prediction)

With The Nun (2018) grossing $365 million worldwide, all eyes are on the upcoming sequel The Nun II – how will it perform at the box office?

The Conjuring Universe Box Office Performance

The Conjuring Universe has proven to be a very successful cash cow for Warner Brothers. The movies are relatively cheap to make and even the weakest performances have returned at least 5x the production budget.

The highest grossing movie was, as mentioned, The Nun (2018) – with the biggest performance relative to budget being Annabelle (2014).

MovieBudgetWW Box OfficeMultiplier
The Conjuring (2013)$20,000,000$316,849,722x15.84
Annabelle (2014)$6,500,000$256,857,527x39.52
The Conjuring 2 (2016)$40,000,000$310,196,332x7.75
Annabelle: Creation (2017)$15,000,000$305,384,865x20.36
The Nun (2018)$22,000,000$363,391,647x16.52
The Curse of La Llorona (2019)$9,000,000$123,133,739x13.68
Annabelle Comes Home (2019)$27,000,000$230,779,191x8.55
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)$40,000,000$200,266,441x5.01
The Nun II (2023)$30,000,000
There are a few things about this data worth noting, with regards to predicting The Nun II’s box office success:
  • With the exception of Annabelle: Creation, every direct sequel has earned less than its predecessor. Each entry in The Conjuring has earned less and the most recent Annabelle entry was the weakest performance yet. Even with Creation, the weekend gross was lower than the original Annabelle – it was only due to the film’s quality that it gained stronger legs.
  • Since The Nun’s performance, the highest performance of a film in The Conjuring universe was $230,779,191 – which is lower than anything prior to The Nun.

This potentially signals that The Nun II’s performance will be a lot more stilted than its predecessor. The original was panned on Rotten Tomatoes with a 24% critics score and a 35% audience score, so it’s hard to say that the series is beloved.

With a reported budget of $30,000,000 – if it performs with the same success rate as the original, we would expect a worldwide gross of $495.6 million. Unfortunately for The Nun II, that’s unlikely to happen.

If it performs about as well as the three most recent entries in the shared universe, we’d expect it to make around $272.4 million. If the movie is good and gets good word of mouth, then that could be a possibility.

The Annabelle franchise is a good source of comparisons. The first Annabelle movie was also panned on Rotten Tomatoes, so the sequel was fighting an uphill battle. Yet, the sequel made more than the original – due to stronger legs, making up for a weaker opening. This is a good sign that audiences are willing to forgive a bad entry in the series, if word of mouth for a new entry is strong. That’s reassuring for The Nun II, though “be a good movie” is easier said than done – but, early screenings seem to be positive for the religious horror sequel.

A few reactions from early previews can’t be used to draw too many conclusions (see the fiasco with The Flash). However, this is promising. If we see the same increase from Annabelle to Annabelle: Creation, due to stronger reactions, we could be looking at a ceiling of $432.4 million. That would make this movie the 7th highest grossing horror movie of all time.

Religious Horror at the Box Office in the 2020s

Religious horror seems to be a slightly dying genre – with not many big releases in the 2020s so far. However, the two biggest – Prey For The Devil (2022) and The Pope’s Exorcist (2023) have both made profits. Prey For The Devil’s x24.45 multiplier is especially impressive given that it was up against some tough competition in Smile (2022).

MovieBudgetWW Box OfficeMultiplier
Prey For The Devil (2022)$1,800,000$44,013,745x24.45
The Pope’s Exorcist (2023)$18,000,000$72,913,467x4.05

There aren’t too many conclusions to draw from this. The difference that The Nun brand makes will make it difficult to draw one-to-one comparisons. If it performs on a similar level to how The Pope’s Exorcist did, it will generate about $121.5 million, which would be the worst performance in The Conjuring universe yet.

The Nun II (2023) Box Office Prediction

The ceiling for The Nun II is probably around $430 million. It’s very unlikely that it will get that high, but if the quality of the movie is good – it has enough breathing room and a big enough brand to achieve that.

However, if the movie isn’t very good, it could go as low as $150 million. I can’t see this being the lowest entry in The Conjuring universe, but given the disastrous reviews of the first movie: it could underperform. While this would be below expectations, it would still be a 5x multiplier and ultimately, a profit turner for Warner Brothers.

I think that $290 million worldwide (x9.67 multiplier) is the most likely outcome, as this puts it at a similar level to the previous entries in The Conjuring franchise, though slightly higher to account for the COVID impact.

Do you agree with this prediction or do you have other thoughts on this movies’ chances? Let us know in the comments below.

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