In the film world, one genre that can almost always be counted on to turn at least a small profit for a studio is horror. By their very nature, horror films don’t usually require a large budget to accomplish their goals, as it’s quite often what audiences don’t see that scares them the most. A director that has shown quite the knack for making economical horror projects that bring in mountains of cash in return is James Wan, who broke into Hollywood by giving the world Saw, which earned over $100 million worldwide on a budget of just over $1 million.
Perhaps Wan’s biggest horror success to date though is 2013’s The Conjuring, which set out to present a dramatized version of real events that married paranormal researchers Ed and Lorraine Warren claim happened during the investigation of a particularly harrowing case. One of the highest grossing R-rated films of all-time – as well as a critical darling – The Conjuring took the world by storm, hauling in over $300 million worldwide on a budget of only $20 million. This led to the creation of both a spin-off centered on the film’s creepy Annabelle doll in 2014 and a proper Conjuring sequel in 2016, both of which earned massive returns on Warner Bros.’ investments.
While a Conjuring 3 seems all but inevitable, in the meantime, Warner Bros. has greenlit another spin-off of the main franchise, this time centering on the demonic nun that menaced Lorraine during particularly unsettling scenes of The Conjuring 2. Titled simply The Nun, the spin-off recently found its director, in the form of U.K. filmmaker Corin Hardy (The Hallow). Now, Deadline reports that The Nun has received an official release date: July 13, 2018.
This summer date falls in line with both The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2, which came out in July and June, respectively. This year’s Annabelle 2 – a sequel to the first Conjuring spin-off – will also bow in the summer, this time in August. The summer season overall has seemed to become the go-to release time-frame for horror flicks as of late, despite the formerly conventional wisdom that a release closer to Halloween would be the better move. For example, 2016 saw no less than 3 horror films open during the summer, those being Lights Out, The Shallows, and of course The Conjuring 2.
Returning to write The Nun is writer Gary Dauberman, who wrote both Annabelle films for Warner Bros., as well as director Andy Muschetti’s upcoming theatrical remake of Stephen King’s IT. Unlike those projects – where Dauberman worked alone – The Nun will see him writing alongside franchise creator Wan. At this point, one wonders how many different spin-offs The Conjuring series will be capable of producing.