When it comes to what types of movies will find success at the box office, you can never go wrong with a horror movie. Time and time again, financial returns display that audiences can't get enough of ghosts, zombies, and killers, but there are still varying degrees of success within the genre.
In 2013, The Conjuring became one of the most successful films of the year and was one of the most acclaimed of the genre, going on to earn more than $300 million worldwide and sitting at 86% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Audience interest in the mythology of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren was so high, in fact, that the possessed doll Annabelle, which was only featured for a few minutes on screen, got its own spin-off film.
The success of the Conjuring continued into 2016 when The Conjuring 2 also went on to earn over $300 million worldwide and scored a very strong 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film has inspired two spin-offs, The Nun and The Crooked Man, building a shared universe of connected films that follows a similar pattern to your favorite super hero franchises.
So where does that put the progress on The Conjuring 3? When speaking with Entertainment Weekly, James Wan, director of the first two films, explained you certainly shouldn't hold your breath about updates anytime soon.
In June, screenwriter David Leslie Johnson was announced as the writer for the third installment, having previously written The Conjuring 2. Just because a writer is attached, however, doesn't mean the filmmakers necessarily know the direction the story will take.
“We’ve been working hard on Conjuring 3,” Wan confessed. “Of course, that is something that I am not neglecting. The Conjuring films are still the mothership and the mothership needs to be strong. The mothership needs to be strong for all these other jet fighters to shoot out of. So, we’re in the midst of working on the script, and still hashing [it] out. We want to make sure that the script is in a really good place. With how much people have loved the first two Conjuring, I don’t want to rush in to the third one if possible.”
Wan's comments about the "mothership" and other "jets" imply that, considering how many successful films have been created based on the original universe, the next installment is being written with the mindset of including elements that could go on to earn their own films.
To some, the success of the Conjuring films and their spin-offs and sequels might come as a surprise, as other horror movies tend to stick with sequel installments. Wan, on the other hand, secretly always had plans for what he hoped to see come from his haunted house film.
“When we were starting out, when we made the first Conjuring, we always kind of quietly, jokingly, among ourselves, felt that the world of the Warrens, and all the interesting artifacts they have in their haunted room, could have their own stories and therefore spawn movies,” admits Wan. “We had hopes and aspirations but we never thought in our wildest dreams that we could actually go on and do it.”
The next film in the Conjuring universe to be released is Annabelle: Creation, which hits theaters this Friday. The film's synopsis is as follows:
"Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a
Earlier this month, the film's director, David F. Sandberg, revealed on Twitter that audiences should stay through the credits, as there are additional scenes both in the middle of the credits and following the credits.
Considering the Marvel Cinematic Universe has often used this technique to reveal ties to forthcoming films, this could potentially mean we'll get a tease at another film in the expanding universe or possibly imply we'll get a third Annabelle film.