'The Nun,' a new movie in 'The Conjuring' series, is on its way to box-office success despite getting horrible reviews

Warner Bros

  • “The Nun” made $US5.4 million in Thursday night previews.
  • It’s on its way to a nearly $US50 million opening weekend, which would be a “Conjuring” franchise best.
  • It’s already a hit with audiences, but critics are calling it “dull” and an “empty thrill ride.”

“The Nun,” the fifth movie in “The Conjuring” universe, opened to an impressive $US5.4 million at the box office on Thursday night, a franchise best for Thursday previews.

It will have to fight off poor reviews from critics if it wants to sustain its dominance over the weekend, but considering that it’s already outpaced the other four movies in the series combined in Fandango pre-sale tickets, that may not be too difficult.

The movie has a 29% Rotten Tomatoes critic score as of Friday afternoon, tied for the lowest in the “Conjuring” series with “Annabelle.” The horror series includes “The Conjuring,” “Annabelle,” “The Conjuring 2,” “Annabelle: Creation,” and “The Nun.”

The movie is a prequel to “The Conjuring 2,” and takes place in 1952. It follows a nun, played by Taissa Farmiga, and a Catholic priest, played by Damien Bachir, who are investigating a suicide in Romania.

USA Today‘s Brian Truitt said that “most of the film is a disappointingly dull and arduous journey” until its climax, and fails to properly utilise the title character: the demon nun.

“The one cardinal sin a horror movie with a demon nun can commit? Not having enough demon nun,” he wrote.

“Despite its clammy atmosphere and two credible and appealing leads, the movie is mechanical in its rhythms and unimaginative in its terrors,” said the Los Angeles Times‘ Justin Chang.

Christy Lemire, for RogerEbert.com, compared the movie to “Minions,” in that the Minions are the best part of “Despicable Me,” and “there is a similarity to the shallow nature of these crucial supporting characters that reveals itself when a feature film focuses on them.” She added that the movie “feels like an empty thrill ride” compared to “The Conjuring” movies.

“Once it stops and you step off, you may still feel a little dizzy, but you’ll have forgotten exactly why,” Lemire said.

“The Nun” is expected to rake in nearly $US50 million at the box office this weekend. That would be a franchise-best opening, and would continue the strong box office for the horror genre the last two years that’s included “It,” “Get Out,” “A Quiet Place,” and “Hereditary.”

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