It looks like we're going to have to wait a little while longer to see the next movie in The Conjuring universe, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. have officially pushed back the release of The Nun by nearly two months. Instead of hitting theaters on July 13, the spin-off will now arrive on September 7. Sometimes, bumping a movie back by a couple of months this close to release could be possible cause for concern. However, in this case, it actually just seems like a brilliant move, from a financial standpoint at least, by the studio.
In its original release date, The Nun would have been facing a lot of direct competition. Universal and Legendary are releasing Dwayne Johnson's action flick Skyscraper on July 13, which debuted its first footage recently during the Super Bowl. Given what's happened at the box office with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, it's doubtful anyone wants to go toe-to-toe with The Rock right now. Sony is also releasing Hotel Transylvania 3 on that date, which should serve as a good bit of counterprogramming for Skyscraper, but that doesn't leave a whole lot of room for any other major releases. Hence, the release date move.
Not only is The Nun moving away from competition directly, but the summer months are so crowded that it's tough to be able to make money week after week. However, on September 7, The Nun is the only major release currently slated for that date and, perhaps more importantly, that's the same weekend that New Line and Warner Bros. released IT during last year. Considering that IT grossed more than $700 million worldwide and is now the highest-grossing horror movie ever, it stands to reason that this could potentially be a great time to release a horror movie. Assuming The Nun is a quality horror movie but, given the track record so far for The Conjuring movies, that's likely going to be the case.
The first Annabelle aside, all of The Conjuring movies have delivered in a big way, both in terms of quality and at the box office. To date, The Conjuring movies have grossed more than $1 billion at the global box office, which makes this one of the few cinematic universes in Hollywood that's actually working quite well. The Nun serves as a spin-off/prequel to The Conjuring 2 and will center on the demon nun Valak, who was a last-minute addition to the movie. Valak was teased in last year's Annabelle: Creation, which also featured a post-credit scene that helped set up The Nun.
It's also worth pointing out that Warner Bros. and New Line have IT: Chapter Two coming out next year on September 6. There seems to be a pattern developing and that could be their new favorite place to drop a big horror movie every year. The Nun comes from director Corin Hardy (The Hallow) and stars Demián Bichir as Father Burke, Charlotte Hope as Sister Victoria and Taissa Farmiga as Sister Irene, with Bonnie Aarons as Valak. The question becomes, when is Warner Bros. going to release a trailer for The Nun now that the release date has been pushed back?