The first Conjuring movie hit American theaters on July 19th, 2013 with a $20 million budget. Following the commercial and critical success of Insidious, director James Wan (Saw, Dead Silence) helped this modern horror classic earn over $300 million worldwide. Almost immediately, this true story-inspired horror developed a dedicated fan following.
With The Conjuring being based on just one case from paranormal investigators (and married couple) Ed and Lorraine Warren's decades worth of work with the spiritual world, moviegoers anticipated a sequel based on another case (this one possibly never being investigated by the Warrens).
Could The Conjuring 2 Become One Of The Highest Grossing Movies Of 2016?
Now with a $40 million budget, The Conjuring 2 has only been in theaters for one night and has already grossed a quarter of its budget worldwide. Many box-office analysts predict The Conjuring 2 to be one of the highest-grossing movies of the year and with the early reviews proving positive, this assumption becoming fulfilled shouldn't be a surprise.
Until you see it yourself (we know you're going to), here are four things you didn't know about The Conjuring 2.
Bless This Production
On the first day of filming, a priest from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe was present to bless the film's production. Many believe this was a publicity stunt (because a priest being present for a horror film's production is bad*ss), but James Wan and the actors especially wanted a priest present due to eerie, mysterious occurrences during the filming of the first Conjuring movie:
- The dog actors behaved strangely and saw things the cast and crew didn't see.
- Vera Farmiga (Loraine Warren) opened her computer to read the script and claw marks were found on her screen.
- Frequent phone static.
- The family the film was based on (the Perrons) experienced a sudden, cold, strong gust of wind that blew through the set, but the there was no affect on the trees.
- The mother of the Perrons received injuries from a fall that required time at the hospital.
Better safe than sorry.
One More Scare
Since James Wan directed Furious 7 (one of the highest-grossing movies of all time), several major studios approached him with high-budget projects to direct. One confirmed project is the 2018 addition to the New DC Cinematic Universe, Aquaman.
When Wan was offered (what he called) a "life-altering" amount of money to direct Furious 8, he turned it down. Following him turning down the opportunity, Wan said in an Instagram post:
I feel rejuvenated to tell a scary story one more time.
The Conjuring 2 will be his final horror film until further notice and he claims it's his scariest movie yet. That's saying a lot coming from the man who brought us Saw and Insidious, too.
Writing for an R-Rating
The first Conjuring film was written to be a PG-13 film. This is a common economical trick to allow more moviegoers to see your movie, thus potentially bringing in more money. However, in recent years with blockbuster hits like American Sniper, The Martian, Fifty Shades of Grey, Straight Outta Compton, and Deadpool, this trick is becoming unnecessary. Curse words and nudity no longer negatively affect most moviegoers anymore. People will see anything so long it looks good to them.
During the writing of Conjuring 2, the writers were very aware the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) gave the first Conjuring an R-Rating solely on the grounds that they believed the movie was too scary for children to see. Regardless of the rating, the first Conjuring made a massive box-office return. Knowing this, the writers threw caution to the wind and intentionally wrote Conjuring 2 for an R-Rating. Which it received by the MPAA, of course.
The Warrens and the Enfield Poltergeist
The Conjuring 2 is based on the paranormal activity that occurred at a council house in Brimsdown, Enfield, England — labeled "The Enfield Poltergeist."
In August 1977, single-parent Peggy Hodgson called police to her rented home in Enfield after two of her four children claimed that furniture was moving and knocking sounds were heard on the walls. The children were Margaret (13), Janet (11), Johnny (10), and Billy (7). A police constable saw a chair slide on the floor, but couldn't determine if it moved by itself or was pushed by someone. Later claims included alleged demonic voices, loud noises, thrown rocks and toys, overturned chairs, and levitation of children. Reports of further incidents in the house attracted press until the reports came to an end in 1979.
As for the Warrens, were they actually there? Some investigators claim they weren't, while records state the Warrens investigated the poltergeist uninvited in 1978 during the height of its media popularity. James Wan stated he loved the story of the Enfield Poltergeist and was already attracted to the Warrens as characters. It wasn't too hard to make their roles larger in the story since they were already established in the first Conjuring. An early Conjuring 2 poster (above) featured the tagline: "The next true story from the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren", but all current posters have the tagline removed.
Anything I missed out? Are you seeing the movie? Already seen it? Let's read your thoughts in the comments!