Supernatural series ‘The Conjuring’ has just become one of the highest-earning horror franchises ever.
Spin-off movie ‘Annabelle: Creation’ is poised to break $110 million worldwide this weekend, taking the overall series haul to over $1 billion worldwide.
And that figure is likely to only go higher, if ‘Annabelle: Creation’s final haul winds up close to those of previous films ‘The Conjuring’ ($318 million), ‘The Conjuring 2’ ($320 million) and the first ‘Annabelle’ ($257 million).
These four films, inspired by the exploits of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, have out-performed such other lucrative horror franchises as ‘Paranormal Activity’ ($890 million) and ‘Saw’ ($873 million), both of which took six films to get that far. ‘Saw’s figure will doubtless go up soon, though, with the release of seventh instalment ‘Jigsaw’ in October.
The only modern horror franchise to make more money is the recently concluded ‘Resident Evil,’ which made over $1.2 billion worldwide – but that six-film series is very far removed in tone and content from the more traditional, intimate chills of ‘The Conjuring’ films.
All this would seem to cement James Wan as the most significant horror director of the past decade from a commercial perspective, given he kick-started three of the era’s biggest franchises in ‘The Conjuring,’ ‘Saw’ and ‘Insidious’ (although the latter franchise’s global haul of $371 million from three films pales in comparison).
Small wonder, then, that studio New Line Cinema (a company who know a thing or two about lucrative horror franchises, having been largely launched by the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ series in the 1980s) have plans to expand further on their ‘Conjuring’ universe. Corin Hardy (‘The Hallow’) is directing another spin-off film, ‘The Nun,’ due in 2018. There are also plans for ‘The Conjuring 3’ and another spin-off, ‘The Crooked Man.’
Of course, if we adjust for inflation, ‘The Exorcist’ is by far the biggest horror series ever, as the 1973 original alone made more than $400 million; well over a $1 billion in today’s money.
‘Annabelle: Creation’ is in cinemas now.