LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "Annabelle: Creation" isn't just fleshing out New Line Cinema's self-proclaimed "Conjuring Universe," it's also helping to save the back half of the summer box office. The prequel to 2014's "Annabelle" is conjuring up a $36 million domestic debut.
According to estimates, Warner Bros.' supernatural horror will easily win its opening weekend after taking in $15 million from 3,502 locations on Friday, including Thursday night previews. Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, and Anthony LaPaglia star in the origin story behind the killer, antique doll from director David F. Sandberg.
Also in the double digits for WB, "Dunkirk" continues to steamroll its blockbuster competition in second place. Despite being in its fourth frame, Christopher Nolan's World War II drama is expected to add just under $11 million to its total after making just over $3 million from 3,762 screens on Friday. That number is also expected to officially put "Dunkirk" over the $150 million marker domestically with $153 million.
New entry "Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature" also managed to snag a spot in the top 3, despite only pulling off an $8 million heist. The sequel to 2014's "The Nut Job" scored just shy of $3 million from 4,003 screens on Friday. Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Brendan Frasier, Katherine Heigl, Liam Neeson, and Jackie Chan lend their voices for the Open Road animation.
Elsewhere, last week's winner "The Dark Tower" falls from No. 1 to No. 4. It seems the negative word of mouth/press has halted Sony's Stephen King adaptation in its second frame. After making just over $2 million from 3,451 locales on Friday, "The Dark Tower" is only expected to make $7.5 million this time around.
Last but certainly not least, "Girls Trip" is still going strong. Universal's Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish R-rated comedy took in another $2 million from just 2,303 venues on Friday. That number will translate to a solid $6 million fourth frame, bringing "Girls Trip" to a near-milestone -- $96 million domestic.