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New Line Cinema’s origin horror film Annabelle: Creation shouldn’t have much trouble topping the North American box office this weekend, although overall it looks like another slow session as the dog days of August wear on.
The latest installment in the successful horror franchise is tracking to open in the $25 million-$30 million range from more than 3,400 theaters. While that’s a lower start than the previous three movies, it would still be a solid launch considering the general malaise that has resulted in summer box-office revenue running behind last year by as much as 10 percent.
Annabelle: Creation, directed by David F. Sandberg, revolves around a doll maker who invites a nun and a group of girls who have been evicted from an orphanage to stay with him and his wife. However, his possessed doll named Annabelle quickly sets her sights on the visitors. Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto star in the film, which sports a strong 81 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Elsewhere, days after Open Road Films announced its sale to Tang Media, the indie studio will release The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature in roughly 4,300 theaters. The animated sequel, about a group of animals trying to stop their serene park from being turned into an amusement venture, looks likely to take in around $15 million. (The first film debuted to $19.4 million in January 2014.) The voice cast includes Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Jackie Chan and Katherine Heigl, with Cal Brunker directing.
The weekend’s third new nationwide offering, The Glass Castle, will roll out in far fewer theaters (less than 1,500 locations). From Lionsgate, the drama is adapted from former gossip columnist and author Jeannette Walls’ best-selling 2005 memoir about her harrowing childhood. Brie Larson plays Walls in the film, which was directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. Naomi Watts, Woody Harrelson and Sarah Snook also star. Glass Castle is projected to open in the $5 million range.
At the specialty box office, Al Gore’s climate change documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, from Paramount and Participant Media, and The Weinstein Co.’s Wind River will continue to add theaters.
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