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After AMC’s wild week on Wall Street, theaters hope to scare up a hit box office with ‘The Conjuring’

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” the seventh film in the horror franchise, hits theaters on Friday. It ends a crazy week for the movie theater business that included the return of a blockbuster box office opening and major theater chain AMC having a wild ride on the stock market.

The Warner Bros. film is expected to bring in around $20 million at the North American box office this weekend — a solid performance for a theater business that’s still trying to find its post-pandemic footing. (Warner Bros., like CNN, is owned by WarnerMedia.)

Theaters owners are hoping a horror sequel can give a much needed boost to the lucrative summer movie season. If that sounds familiar, it should since it’s the same storyline of last weekend’s box office.

Paramount’s “A Quiet Place Part II,” another horror sequel, blew past expectations last weekend making $48 million, which represented the biggest domestic debut of the pandemic so far.

The Conjuring Universe, whose stories center on horrific hauntings and paranormal activities, has brought in nearly $2 billion worldwide over six films since 2013, according to Comscore. The franchise is especially profitable as most of the brand’s films are made on a low budget, catering to a loyal fanbase. For example, “The Devil Made Me Do It” has a production budget of just $39 million.

If the film brings in a solid box office and “A Quiet Place Part II” doesn’t drop too much in its second weekend that will give Hollywood studios and theaters more confidence that last weekend’s strong performance wasn’t a fluke and audiences do indeed want to come back to the movies.

Bigger box office tests lie ahead: Marvel’s “Black Widow,” the next Fast & Furious film, “F9,” and next week’s “In The Heights” are due to be released in the coming weeks.

That said, the box office numbers may not tell the entire story for “The Devil Made Me Do It” since audiences can choose to watch it at home on HBO Max. The film hit the streaming service and theaters simultaneously on Friday.

A successful weekend for “The Devil Made Me Do It” would also put a exclamation mark on an absolutely bonkers week for AMC — the largest movie theater chain in the world.

The company’s stock surged to record highs in recent days thanks in large part to Reddit’s army of retail investors. AMC used the stock boost to sell shares, which brought in hundreds of millions of capital to the company.

The wild week for the theater chain leveled out on Friday with the company’s stock — which is up 2,000% this year — up roughly 4%.

Article Topic Follows: Biz/Tech

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