It’s another close race at the box office.
The Warner Bros. thriller “The Nun II” is projected to ever-so-slightly outpace the competition with $14.7 million in its second weekend. But Disney’s murder mystery “A Haunting in Venice” is inching behind with $14.5 million, so it’s possible the order could flip by the time the final tally is revealed on Monday.
“A Haunting in Venice,” the third of director Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adaptations, collected another $22.7 million at the international box office, bringing its global tally to $37.2 million. In North America, tickets sales were slightly better than its trilogy predecessor, 2022’s “Death on the Nile” (12.8 million while the box office was recovering from COVID), but down considerably from the first in the series, 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express” ($28.6 million).
Disney and 20th Century spent $60 million on “A Haunting in Venice,” a smaller price tag than the $90 million-budgeted “Death on the Nile.” Branagh, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey and Michelle Yeoh star in the film, adapted from on Christie’s 1969 novel “Hallowe’en Party. The story follows a now-retired Hercule Poirot, who must solve the murder of a guest at a séance he attended. Neither critics nor audiences were particularly charmed by “Venice,” which has a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes and “B” Cinemascore.
David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, predicts “A Haunting in Venice” will make up ground at the international box office. “At a cost of around $60 million, the movie isn’t going to lose money after it finishes playing in the foreign markets,” he says.
In its sophomore outing, “The Nun II” beat expectations with its 55% decline. Horror movies tend to have bigger week-to-week drops; 2018’s “The Nun” slid by 66% in its second weekend. After 10 days on the big screen, the scary sequel has generated $56 million domestically and a healthy $102.3 million internationally.
Denzel Washington’s “Equalizer 3” took third place with $7.23 million, bringing its North American total to $73.68 million after three weeks of release. The film has grossed $132.4 million globally, including $58.7 million overseas.
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” landed in fourth place, adding $4.7 million in its second weekend of release. So far, the third romantic comedy about Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) and her extended relatives has generated $18.5 million in North America.
Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster “Barbie” rounded out box office charts with $3.5 million, remaining in the top five for nine (!) consecutive weekends. The Warner Bros. movie has earned $625 million at the domestic box office, outpacing Marvel’s 2021 tentpole “The Avengers” ($623 million) as the 11th-highest grossing release in history.