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‘Annabelle’ sequel is probably no match for ‘Toy Story 4’ at the box office

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows a scene from the horror film, “Annabelle Comes Ho
“Annabelle Comes Home” is expected to open with about $30 million in domestic ticket sales this weekend.
(Warner Bros./New Line Cinema)

Demonic doll Annabelle returns to theaters to terrorize moviegoers this weekend. But for box office rivals, Forky remains the sentient toy to fear.

“Toy Story 4” is expected to top the box office for the second consecutive weekend, probably grossing $55 million to $65 million Friday through Sunday in the U.S. and Canada, according to analysts. That should be easily enough cash to top this week’s two new wide releases, Warner Bros. and New Line’s latest horror sequel, “Annabelle Comes Home,” and Universal Pictures’ Beatles-themed comedy, “Yesterday.”

Pixar Animation Studios’ latest critically acclaimed computer-animated feature opened at No. 1 with $120 million last weekend. Though that was less than analysts anticipated, the film is expected to continue to draw audiences, said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.

“With no direct competition, word of mouth should carry it very well for the next few weeks,” Robbins said.

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The total domestic box office is still lagging behind 2018’s record pace as summer sequels have generally underperformed analysts’ estimates. So far this year, movies have collected $5.35 billion domestically, which is down 8.8% from the same period a year ago, according to data firm Comscore.

Toy gory

“Annabelle Comes Home,” the newest creation in Warner Bros.’ “Conjuring” series, opens Wednesday with the aim of continuing the studio’s streak of highly profitable supernatural horror films based on the stories of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Marking the directorial debut of “Annabelle” and “It” screenwriter Gary Dauberman, “Annabelle Comes Home” continues the tale of the possessed doll after the Warrens lock her away among the spooky artifacts in their home.

The new R-rated “Annabelle,” the third spinoff to feature the killer doll, is expected to collect $30 million in domestic ticket sales through Sunday.

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While that tally would be a solid launch for a low-budget horror movie, it would still be less than the previous installments in the series. The first “Annabelle” launched with $37.1 million in its three-day opening in 2014, and 2017 follow-up “Annabelle: Creation” scored $35 million.

Beatles for sale

As the dolls dominate the charts, Universal Pictures and Working Title will release Danny Boyle’s what-if comedy “Yesterday,” about a struggling musician who discovers he’s the only person who remembers the songs of the Beatles. Newcomer Himesh Patel makes his feature film debut, playing the singer who uses his suddenly unique knowledge of the Fab Four’s catalog to propel himself to fame.

One of the few truly original films getting a wide studio release this summer, “Yesterday” is expected to open with about $10 million this weekend. According to industry estimates, “Yesterday” cost less than $30 million to produce.

The film is the latest effort by famed British director Boyle, best known for offbeat and critically admired films including “127 Hours,” “Trainspotting” and “28 Days Later.” He had a surprise blockbuster in 2008 with the Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire,” which grossed $377.9 million at the global box office. But he has also fielded commercial duds including “Steve Jobs,” written by Aaron Sorkin.

Victory lap

Box office trackers also will be closely watching the results for Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Endgame,” which Disney is rereleasing in hundreds of theaters with limited bonus footage to capitalize on the popularity of the superhero megahit.

The movie, which reportedly includes new material after the closing credits, will play in at least 1,950 domestic theaters this weekend, compared with 985 last week.

“Endgame” opened in late April with a staggering $1.22 billion in global ticket sales, including $357 million in the U.S. and Canada. Analysts at the time said the film had a chance to top the global record of $2.79 billion set by James Cameron’s “Avatar” in 2009. But “Endgame’s” total remains just slightly behind that of “Avatar” with a gross of about $2.75 billion so far.

ryan.faughnder@latimes.com

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@rfaughnder


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