Director James Wan seems to have perfected the art of kicking off horror franchises, having created the first installment in the Saw series as well as more recent successes like Insidious and The Conjuring. Wan boarded an established franchise to make Fast and Furious 7, but will return to direct The Conjuring 2 and has passed off directing duties on Insidious: Chapter 3 to his regular filmmaking partner, Leigh Whannell.
Both Insidious and The Conjuring represent two strong examples of an increasingly successful model in the horror genre: films produced on tiny budgets (ranging from $1-20 million) that make their money back in spades at the box office. The Conjuring grossed over $300 million worldwide despite the fact that it carried an R rating (for being “too scary“) and was released in the competitive summer blockbuster season.
Previously the Insidious movies have been released during quieter times of the year, but both Insidious: Chapter 3 and The Conjuring 2 have now been given bold summer release dates, by Focus Features and Warner Bros. respectively. Insidious: Chapter 3 has been pushed back just one week from its planned May release to June 5th, 2015, while The Conjuring 2 will hit theaters almost exactly a year later, on June 10th, 2016.
In terms of competition, this means that Insidious: Chapter 3 will be up against the Entourage movie and DreamWorks’ animated family film B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, leaving it with a decent chance of coming out on top for that weekend. The Conjuring 2, meanwhile, will release on the same day as Now You See Me 2 and Sony’s adventure video game movie Uncharted.
At one point Wan said that he was done making horror movies, but either he couldn’t stay away or Warner Bros. simply made an offer that he couldn’t refuse for The Conjuring 2 (rumor has it that Wan’s deal with WB puts him first in line to direct an upcoming DC comic book movie). The first of several spinoffs from the original movie, Annabelle, was released last month and performed very well at the box office, despite generally poor review scores.
Insidious: Chapter 3 is a prequel to the previous two movies and stars Dermot Mulroney as a concerned father who calls in Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) and her group of paranormal investigators when a malicious spirit targets his teenage daughter. The first trailer for Insidious: Chapter 3 was recently released, and it looks like horror fans are in for a whole host of ghosts next summer.
Insidious: Chapter 3 is out in theaters on June 5th, 2015. The Conjuring 2 releases on June 10th, 2016.