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Box office: 'Annabelle: Creation' scares away the competition with $35 million

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Annabelle: Creation may not be able to save the summer — which, after this weekend, will only fall farther behind last year’s pace — but it is doing its part to frighten audiences into theaters.

The latest from New Line and Warner Bros, which serves as the fourth installment in what has become the Conjuring extended universe, is casting its evil eye on $35 million from 3,502 locations. That’s a strong start for the horror flick, which was made for about $15 million.

Read more: How filmmakers transformed real Annabelle doll for the movies

The track record for the franchise is strong — Annabelle ($37.1 million);The Conjuring ($41.9 million); and The Conjuring 2 ($40.4 million). David F. Sandberg directed the sequel about a dollmaker whose creation terrorizes a group of orphan girls. For those invested in the Conjuring canon, it serves as a prequel to the firstAnnabelle. Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, and Miranda Otto star in the pic that critics have generally given a thumbs up to (it currently has an 68 percent on Rotten Tomatoes).

The same studio’s Dunkirk continues to show strong during its fourth weekend, as it holds onto second place. One of the lone bright spots in a generally dismal summer for the box office, Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic should make an additional $11.4 million this weekend, pushing its domestic total past the $150 million mark.

Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s new release The Glass Castle is pulling in $4.9 million from 1,461 locations. Those are meager earnings, but also a low theater count. The adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ hugely-popular 2005 memoir mostly appealed to women, who made up 80 percet of the audience. Audiences have been generally receptive, earning the movie an A-minus CinemaScore, while critics are more mixed (50 percent of RottenTomatoes). Brie Larson reunited with Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton for the project, which also stars Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.

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