‘Conjuring 3’ tops ‘A Quiet Place 2’ as moviegoing returns

The domestic box office is getting back to normal, with moderate wins and sizable second weekend drops. After its triumphant first weekend, “A Quiet Place Part II” fell 59% at the North American box office leaving room for the third movie in the “Conjuring” franchise to take first place. Warner Bros.’ “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” earned an estimated $24 million, according to studio estimates Sunday, making it the biggest R-rated opening of the pandemic. Paramount’s “A Quiet Place” sequel meanwhile earned $19.5 million in ticket sales, bringing its domestic total to $88.6 million.

“The Conjuring 3” has Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga returning as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Although there’s a whole extended universe set around these films, this is the first “Conjuring” since 2016, and the first to be helmed by someone other than James Wan (Michael Graves directed).

In a pre-pandemic world, “The Conjuring 3” might have been considered a bit disappointing — the previous installments both opened around $40 million. Here, it has a caveat: The film is also currently streaming free for subscribers on HBO Max. Warner Media did not say how many people watched it on streaming over the weekend or how many new customers signed up for the service. It has become more normal than not for films to embrace a hybrid day-and-date release strategy, with the major studios using their biggest titles to drive potential subscribers to their streaming services. “A Quiet Place Part II” had the rare distinction of being exclusively in theaters, but even so it will be a shorter stint than usual before it hits Paramount+.

The Walt Disney Co.’s “Cruella,” which opened in theaters last weekend, was also made available to rent on Disney+ for $29.99. The Emma Stone and Emma Thompson pic added $11.2 million from 3,922 theaters this weekend to take third place. Disney also did not say how much it earned from streaming rentals, but the company did note the drop from last weekend was only 48%. Globally, “Cruella” has earned $87.1 million thus far.

The animated family film “Spirit Untamed” also opened wide theatrically this weekend in 3,211 theaters to an estimated $6.2 million. The DreamWorks Animation film features the voices of Isabela Merced, Eiza González, Julianne Moore, Marsai Martin and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Most family films have gone straight to streaming over the past year and many big studios are opting to continue with the strategy for the near future. Disney and Pixar’s “Luca” is skipping theaters and going straight to Disney+, where it will be free for subscribers on June 16. DreamWorks Animation’s “Boss Baby” sequel is also debuting on Peacock Kids and in theaters on July 2.

Universal’s latest in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, “F9,” continued to pick up speed internationally prior to its U.S. debut on June 25. “F9,” which has already grossed $256 million from eight territories, became one of only 19 U.S. movies to have earned more than $200 million in China.

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ldbahr