This summer weekend, audiences went with specter over spectacle.
"Warcraft," Duncan Jones's massive $160 million video game adaptation for Legendary/Universal, brought in a tepid $24.4 million domestically in its opening weekend, second to James Wan's horror sequel, "The Conjuring 2," which opened in first at the box office with a $40.4 million take, per Variety.
"The Conjuring 2" saw strong reviews, with CBR's Kristy Puchko calling Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson's second turns as paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren "sensational" and "freshly frightening." Wan, who has been tapped by Warner Bros to direct 2018's "Aquaman" feature, is being hailed for opening box office return that double his film's budget, and perhaps even for restoring Hollywood's faith in sequels after mediocre returns from recent non-superhero fare.
"Warcraft" saw a different story. While the picture was called "enjoyable and daring" by CBR, its 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and $24.4 million opening frame would be considered a significant setback if not for historic international gains. After making a record $145 million over its first four days of release in China, "Warcraft" has now brought in $261 million internationally to date, per Deadline. The international draw largely offsets the reported $160 million budget of the franchise-establishing film, which stars Toby Kebbell, Paula Patton, Travis Fimmel, Ben Foster, among more.
"Now You See Me 2," Lionsgate's magician ensemble which unites Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, and Daniel Radcliffe, came in third at the U.S. box office, bringing in $22.8 million.
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" made $14.8 million in its second weekend in theaters, good for fourth place, while "X-Men: Apocalypse" brought in $10 million, ending in fifth place in its third weekend of release. Elsewhere in this weekend's box office, Disney's "The Jungle Book" crossed $900 million in worldwide gross, the studio's third draw of that much or more this year.
Watch a trailer for "The Conjuring 2" below.