Kenneth Branagh’s latest film, A Haunting in Venice, had hoped to secure the top spot at the domestic box office in its debut but found itself in a virtual tie with the holdover film, The Nun II.
Sunday estimates from New Line/Warner Bros show that The Nun II narrowly edged ahead with $147 million, while A Haunting in Venice earned $145 million. With such a close margin, the industry considers it a tie until the final numbers are confirmed on Monday.
Disney’s marketing team emphasised the horror elements of A Haunting in Venice this time, showcasing the movie’s terrifying aspects alongside its murder mystery themes. The horror genre has become increasingly popular with studios and audiences, with more scary movies set to hit the big screen in the coming weeks.
The Nun II, which fell 55 per cent in its second week, has grossed approximately $565 million domestically in its first 10 days. Internationally, it earned an additional $301 million from 72 markets, bringing its global total to $1.588 billion.
A Haunting in Venice, while opening in line with expectations, had a muted start and will need a strong performance in the coming weeks to come out ahead. The film faced challenges due to the ongoing actors’ strike, which prevented its stars from participating in the final publicity push.
Overseas, where the franchise thrives, A Haunting in Venice opened to $22.7 million across 51 markets, resulting in a global start of $37.2 million.
Branagh, who not only directs but also reprises his role as the iconic detective Hercule Poirot, leads a star-studded cast including Camille Cottin, Michelle Yeoh, Tina Fey, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill, Kyle Allen, and Riccardo Scamarcio.