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'Conjuring 2' Gives Warner Bros. A Big Win While Universal's 'Warcraft' Falls Hard Domestically

'Conjuring 2' Gives Warner Bros. A Big Win While Universal's 'Warcraft' Falls Hard Domestically

The box office was crowded last weekend as Warner Bros. (Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX)), Universal (Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA)) and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE: LGF) all released a new entry into the summer box office battles.

The results, while mixed, were surprisingly not entirely negative despite a few lower-than-anticipated returns.

Either way, Warner Bros. needs no spin for its film, as "The Conjuring 2" defied expectations and broke the so-called "sequel spiral" with $40 million in earnings. That's just 4 percent less than what the original did a few years back.

Related Link: Warner Bros "The Conjuring" leads Domestic Box Office With $40.4M

This was a big win for the studio, which is still stinging from the negativity around "Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice." The studio needs all the momentum it can get going into August's make-it-or-break-it "Suicide Squad."

Investors in Universal know negativity well, as "Warcraft" cratered with $24 million in second place. Yet, nobody can feign surprise, as the industry has long known "Warcraft" was more of an international play where it is doing monster business. The film cost $160 million to produce and globally its tally stands at $286 million with China representing the largest chunk of revenue.

Lions Gate meanwhile saw a $23 million bow for "Now You See Me 2," which slipped from the $29 million of the original. However, this is not being seen as a disappointment because the first film found a strong second-life post-release, which is again expected to be the case.

The real question is regarding the budget, which is rumored to be north of $100 million and is a bit of a surprise in itself. Still, with "The Hunger Games" over and "Divergent" free-falling, Lions Gate needs franchises; executives had already greenlighted "Now You See Me 3" long before this weekend.

Posted-In: Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice ConjuringNews Global Econ #s Tech Trading Ideas General Best of Benzinga


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