The Curse of La Llorona scored the lowest opening weekend in the Conjuring film franchise, but it's still a box office hit. Beginning in 2013 with the original movie, the property has become one of Warner Bros.' most successful cash cows this decade. In addition to two mainline entries, there have been multiple spinoffs, like Annabelle and The Nun, that helped flesh out the shared universe further. The Curse of La Llorona is the latest side story, marking the sixth installment overall in the franchise.
Since the film was by no means a critical darling (though some found enjoyment in it), La Llorona wasn't expected to take over the multiplex during its first three days. Perhaps due to it opening right before Avengers: Endgame, projections for La Llorona were low, coming in at about $16.9 million. However, it was able to far exceed those estimates and come out on top at the box office.
Per Box Office Mojo, The Curse of La Llorona locked up the #1 spot by earning $26.5 million in its debut. While that was enough to dethrone Shazam from the top position, it's still the lowest Conjuring opening weekend by a considerable margin. Back in 2017, Annabelle: Creation grossed $35 million.
It's never a good thing to come in last, but in this case the distinction doesn't matter much. The Curse of La Llorona has already turned a considerable profit for the studio; its production budget was a measly $9 million and its worldwide gross is currently $56.5 million. In one weekend, the film made its money back and then some, cementing it as another hit installment in the Conjuring universe. This proves the brand name still has some nice drawing power, as La Llorona opened just a couple weeks after another R-rated horror film, Pet Sematary. WB has more Conjuring movies planned, and this'll surely give them the confidence to keep forging ahead with them. Annabelle Comes Home hits theaters this summer.
Of course, it goes without saying that La Llorona's time at the top of the charts is going to be very short-lived. Avengers: Endgame is set to rewrite the record books by shattering just about every mark in its path. But that doesn't mean La Llorona is going to fade away entirely. It's true horror films tend to be front-loaded before a drop-off, but there's a chance here La Llorona has decent legs as a counter-programming option. General audiences are fervently anticipating Endgame, but those who aren't much interested in superhero fare (or would rather wait for the crowds to die down) may appreciate having something else to choose if they're in the mood for a movie.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- The Curse of La Llorona (2019) release date: Apr 19, 2019