When it was first announced that David F. Sandberg and Gary Dauberman would be making a prequel to 2014's Annabelle, fans of the Conjuring universe were somewhat distressed by the news, fearing that their favorite franchise was about to churn out a number of indistinguishable sequels, prequels and spin-offs. However, early reviews are now available and we have great news for Annabelle's harshest critics. Now that the film has finally be reviewed, fans will be pleased to hear that Annabelle: Creation has had a remarkably positive reception. In fact, the upcoming horror flick currently holds a perfect score (100%) on Rotten Tomatoes.
Is Annabelle: Creation A Landmark Success For The Conjuring Franchise?
Three years ago, Annabelle (2014) proved to be a disappointment among fans, scoring just 29% on Rotten Tomatoes. In fact, critics called Annabelle "an average kind of #horror story" and "criminally underwritten." So, it comes as a huge relief to hear that the upcoming prequel is scoring well with critics. The critical reception also marks a significant success for the Conjuring universe as a whole, most notably because the score indicates that Annabelle: Creation could be the franchise's greatest effort to date.
In comparison, The Conjuring scored 86% on Rotten Tomatoes while The Conjuring 2 boasts a complimentary 80%. Despite these high-performing installments, Annabelle: Creation is officially the highest ranking film in the franchise (according to Rotten Tomatoes).
So, there's a real possibility that Annabelle: Creation will be the best movie in the Conjuring Universe. In fact, some critics have are suggesting that this is precisely the case.
"It's definitely a worthy entry -- if not one of the best -- in the Conjuring universe of horror... 'Annabelle: Creation' should be seen late at night, in the dark."
- Staci Layne Wilson, DreadCentral
"'Annabelle: Creation' is the rare horror sequel that improves upon the original, featuring more engaging protagonists and a far less problematic ending."
- Jim Vejvoda, IGN
However, a franchise can't survive purely on critical praise. Although a Rotten Tomatoes score isn't a sure-fire indicator as to how fans will take to a film, it can be an indicator as to how it will perform at the box office. With that in mind, let's take a look at the Conjuring universe's domestic record so far.
The Conjuring Universe: Domestic Gross (adjusted for inflation)
- The Conjuring (2013): $154,882,300
- Annabelle (2014): $84,273,813
- The Conjuring 2 (2016): $104,050,100
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the scores seen on sites like Rotten Tomatoes reflect each film's domestic gross. By that logic, Annabelle: Creation could end up with a higher domestic gross than any other movie in the Conjuring universe.
Of course, the film's perfect score will likely be tainted when more reviews are published, but it looks like director David F. Sandberg has undeniably given fans an impressive addition to the Conjuring universe.
Annabelle: Creation hits theaters August 11, 2017.