“The Conjuring 2,” a new horror flick from Warner Bros., led the box office on a weekend that pitted two film sequels against a big-budget movie based on a video game.
“The Conjuring 2” opened with sales of $40.4 million in the U.S. and Canada for Time Warner Inc.’s movie division, researcher ComScore Inc. said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. That topped the $24.4 million opening of “Warcraft,” from Universal Pictures and the $23 million debut of “Now You See Me 2” from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., which landed in third place.
None of the films were seen producing major summer-movie returns, though the tally for “Warcraft” was low for a picture that cost $160 million to make and millions more to promote. Big-time films return to the box office next weekend, when Walt Disney Co.’s Pixar releases “Finding Dory,” a sequel to “Finding Nemo,” and on June 24 with the debut of 20th Century Fox’s sci-fi follow-up “Independence Day: Resurgence.”
“Warcraft” is based on an Activision Blizzard Inc. video game. In the film, the peaceful realm of Azeroth faces invaders fleeing their dying world. Universal Pictures, part of Comcast Corp., will count more on foreign sales to recoup its investment after the picture opened to $157 million in sales in China this week. Hollywood Stock Exchange was forecasting $25.4 million for the U.S. debut.