The Conjuring 2 scares off US box office competition
The Conjuring 2 has topped the North American box office chart in its first week of release, breaking a recent slump in success for movie sequels.
The horror starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as paranormal investigators made $40.4m (£28.5m).
Video game adaptation Warcraft came in second with $24.4m (£17.2m) and crime caper Now You See Me 2 was at three, taking $23m (£16.2m).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dropped to four with $14.8m (£10.4m).
Following a spate of poor performing sequels such as The Huntsman: Winter's War, Alice Through the Looking Glass and Ride Along 2, The Conjuring 2 opened nearly on par with its 2013 original.
"There's seemingly been a spell cast over the second instalments and The Conjuring, I think, broke that spell," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore.
"Just the overall quality won over the audience in a genre that's generally looked down upon from a critical perspective.''
Big budget CGI extravaganza Warcraft, taken from the hit video game franchise, reportedly cost $160m (£112.8m) to make, so effectively bombed in the US financially as well as critically.
However, it was a phenomenal success overseas, particularly in China where it made $156m (£110m) in its first five days, surpassing 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron to set a new record for the biggest debut for a foreign release.
The game is particularly popular there, even spawning a theme park.
The magician crime caper Now You See Me 2, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo and Woody Harrelson, followed the disappointing trajectory of most recent sequels, dropping from its 2013 original opening debut of $29.4m (£20.8) to $23m (£16.2m).
The fifth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, Out of the Shadows, fell to number four in only its second weekend.
The last movie in the franchise grossed nearly double in its opening weekend box office.
Rounding off the top five was X-Men: Apocalypse, taking $10m (£7m) in a troubling third weekend.
Next week sees the release of Pixar's Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory.
|North American box office|
|1. The Conjuring 2 - $40.4m|
|2. Warcraft - $24.4m|
|3. Now You See Me 2 - $23m|
|4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - $14.8m|
|5. X-Men: Apocalypse - $10m|