The Möbius strip: Conjuring soars, Warcraft disappoints domestically but smashes records in China

Photo courtesy Warner Bros.

While Hollywood’s sequel culture is under intense scrutiny, The Conjuring 2 did fantastic this weekend, opening at no. 1 with $40.4 million. Really the bigger story is Warcraft. After 10 years in Development Hell, the movie based on one of the most popular video games of all time pulled in just $24.1 million- Box Office Mojo

“We do not, however, think of evangelical moviegoers as seekers out of grisly, flesh-ripping horror and ghostly figures rising from the dead… But maybe we should, given that the most popular faith-based drama of the summer season so far is The Conjuring 2-”  Variety

They’ve made a big deal in the Conjuring movies about Ed and Lorraine Warren being real paranormal investigators and the cases being based on their exploits. The Conjuring 2 is based on the Enfield Poltergeist, which the investigated in the late ’70s. The poltergeist received national attention by coming out and saying hello to news crews covering the story. Film School Rejects compares their footage to the movie’s recreation- Film School Rejects

Despite its poor domestic performance — and being a truly, truly awful film — Warcraft is shattering records in China where it earned $90 million in just two days. Released Wednesday, June 8 ahead of a Chinese holiday weekend, it owns the China records for biggest non-weekend opening and biggest Thursday- Empire

Warcraft proves the “one for the studio, one for me” system is broken. It’s totally the first movie ever that indicated that in any way- Indiewire

BBC brings us a 20-minute documentary on how Industrial Light and Magic tackled the special effects for Warcraft, which didn’t turn out so well- Indiewire

Sunday was the 1-year anniversary of the release of the stunningly successful Jurassic World, who’s record-breaking $208 million opening took everyone by surprise. One year later, the box office is down 47 percent from the same weekend- Indiewire

As a whole, the summer is down 22 percent from last year. There could be several reasons for this, but really there’s just one — everybody’s sick of sequels- The Hollywood Reporter

The impending train wreck that is Suicide Squad received its rating this week — PG-13. For all the things the DC universe and this movie in particular is doing to paint itself as dark and hardcore, this movie will be as conspicuously bloodless as one of Wolverine’s kills- HitFix

Though most see this as an indictment of the forthcoming movie, Vulture examines how lax the rating system has become toward violent imagery over the years- Vulture

Roland Emmerich talks about the earlier Independence Day sequel that they almost made, which he says would have toned down the destruction and been about peace- The Hollywood Reporter

From the world of television, Netflix published a study this week on which of their shows get binged the fastest- Variety

As Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele make their transition to film, it represents a huge loss for television as their seminal sketch show Key & Peele ceases production. This week, Comedy Central released all 300 plus sketches they ever did for the show online- Indiewire

Longtime visual effects man Carlos Huante released concept art for an earlier take on Jurassic Park 4 from more than a decade ago, featuring hideous half-man half-dinosaur monsters- Den of Geek

Most people probably think John Travolta is retired. The truth is much more embarassing- Den of Geek

In which Simon Brew offers a potential solution to the perceived — and potentially economically devastating — superhero genre fatigue- Den of Geek

Finding Nemo and Finding Dory writer/director Andrew Stanton opens up about what took him and Pixar so long to return to the reef- Los Angeles Times

Kristen Stewart’s post-Twilight prospects were grim. But in the past four years, she’s made six movies for IFC films. Indiewire goes inside that career-revitalizing relationship- Indiewire

A video essay on the importance of reputation and ego in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds- The Film Stage

Watch a concept animation for a cut fight sequence between Captain American and Black Widow in Captain America: Civil War- The Playlist

And finally, it doesn’t make a ton of sense but it’s cool as hell — here’s a fanmade supercut of similar and clashing images from Stanley Kubrick’s and Martin Scorsese’s films- The Playlist

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