In the space of just six years, the Conjuring franchise became the single highest-grossing horror series in history, with box office takings of over $1.9 billion. That’s a phenomenal return for seven films that cost a combined total of less than $140 million to produce, with the various prequels, sequels and spinoffs creating plenty of opportunity to continue telling stories for years to come.
The Nun may have scored the single highest takings after raking in $365 million globally, but in terms of the critical consensus, James Wan’s Conjuring and its sequel are still the ones to beat. The filmmaker is well established as one of the horror genre’s finest talents of the modern era, and his deft touch and penchant for balancing unnerving tension with standard jump scares has proven to be a formula for major success.
Indeed, the first two outings for Lorraine and Ed Warren hold respective Rotten Tomatoes scores of 85% and 81%, and have found themselves to be regular fixtures of the calendar when viewers are looking to be frightened out of their seats. Third entry The Devil Made Me Do It may have been significantly delayed until June, and Wan isn’t at the helm this time around having stepped back and allowed his protege Michael Chaves to take the reins, but The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 are now available to stream on Netflix.
Big budget blockbusters have recently been replacing the mid-budget action thrillers as the go-to genre of choice on the platform’s Top 10 most-watched list, but as a pair of creepily effective horrors with a huge built-in fanbase, The Conjuring duology stands a great chance of putting in a good showing over the next couple of weeks.