Warner Bros. Pictures
[Spoilers for The Curse of La Llorona]
The five films in the Conjuring Universe — The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and The Nun — have made a combined $1.5 billion at the box office on a collective $118.5 million budget. Both numbers will go up after this weekend, the budget by a little and the box office by a lot. The Curse of La Llorona, which was made for only $15 million, is “currently forecasting a $17+ million debut,” according to Box Office Mojo, with millions more to be made worldwide. The number would be even higher if Warner Bros. marketed the film as part of the same cinematic universe as Ed and Lorraine Warren, but for whatever reason, the Weeping Woman weeps alone.
The Curse of La Llorona probably could have used the boost, too, considering the reviews. It’s honestly not as bad as the 37 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes (the performances are very good, especially Linda Cardellini and Raymond “Tuco from Breaking Bad” Cruz), but it’s also overly reliant on cheap jump scares and stupid characters doing stupid things. But for horror movie completists, it’s worth a watch, if only to see how it fits into Conjuringverse.
For everyone else, I’m going to explain it now.
Produced by James Wan (who directed The Conjuring and, of course, Aquaman), the 1970s-set La Llorona centers on Anna Garcia (Cardellini), a social worker whose children are being terrorized by La Llorona, a real-life presence in Mexican folklore. To get the ghost away from her kids, she seeks the help of Father Perez (Tony Amendola), who tells Anna that he didn’t use to believe in supernatural forces… until, cue the flashback, he met Annabelle. (The timeline checks out: Annabelle takes place in the 1960s.) She even makes an appearance in the movie, possibly as an f-u to the other evil doll movie. I’d say more about Father Perez’s cameo, but there’s not much more to it: he’s there to link the films, and to connect Anna to someone who can help her.
Annabelle has now appeared in every installment of the Conjuring Universe except one (The Nun), making her a Nick Fury-like figure. By the time The Conjuring 3 comes out next year, she better be wearing an eyepatch.
I’m scared already!