New Line Cinema and Warner Bros.’ Annabelle: Creation hits theaters this weekend and as the horror genre has quietly become a serious moneymaker in Hollywood, it’s time to look at the box office prospects of this spinoff prequel. If you want a more in-depth look at the film’s creation, check out our interview with the cinematographer.
As many of you know, Creation is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle, which was a spinoff from The Conjuring franchise. According to Box Office Mojo, the three movies in the series had an average budget of around $22 million, but each of them opened with at least $37 million domestic. We can assume Creation‘s budget lands somewhere in between that of Annabelle ($6.5 million) and The Conjuring ($20 million), putting it on the lower end of horror film expenses (September’s It is considered a “big-ish” entry with a budget around $35-$45 million, according Forbes‘ Scott Mendelson).
Creation is earning strong reviews ahead of its release and doesn’t have much in the way of competition. So for projection’s sake, let’s say the movie matches Annabelle‘s opening of $37.1 million and a 2.2 domestic multiplier to end up with around $84.2 million in the U.S. Now, let’s add in the sequel effect which saw The Conjuring 2 outperform its predecessor by 21% overseas. Applying that same increase for Creation, you get $208.8 million. So if Creation hits it big, it could end up with $293 million-plus worldwide.
But let’s say audiences are suffering from franchise fatigue and bake that into our projections. Maybe Sony’s The Dark Tower holds better than anticipated and Creation “only” scores a $30 million opening and a 2.0 domestic multiplier for a U.S. total over/under $65 million. Since Annabelle earned 67% of its worldwide gross overseas, we’ll say Creation adds another $130 million or so from foreign markets for a grand total of roughly $195 million. Assuming that’s the worst-case scenario (never a sure thing), Warner Bros,. is still sitting pretty with an inexpensive and profitable film.