The Conjuring 2 Movie Box Office Collection 2016: “I think he’d love to do a romantic comedy,” said the actor Patrick Wilson. “He’s deeply romantic — which might be hard to believe for people who don’t know him.” Or who have seen his movies. And been scared out of their wits.In 2004, Mr. Wan’s breakthrough, “Saw,” made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, ushering in the torture-porn era and a franchise that has produced six sequels. In 2011, he and his longtime writing partner, Leigh Whannell, shifted gears, creating the subtly creepy “Insidious,” starting yet another franchise, the fourth installment of which is to be released next year.Mr. Wan also somehow found time to drift into someone else’s series — “The Fast and the Furious” — directing the well-reviewed “Furious 7” (2015), now ranked sixth in history at the global box office.On June 10, “The Conjuring 2” materializes in theaters, the second creepfest directed by Mr. Wan inspired by the psychic investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren (the real-life couple associated with the case behind “The Amityville Horror”).
Will the series continue? Will ghouls keep jumping out of James Wan’s closets?“I kind of joke that creating franchises is a lot like directing pilot episodes of TV series,” Mr. Wan said by Skype from Los Angeles. “You set a look and feel and kind of pass it on.”
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Indeed. Mr. Wan, 39, born in Malaysia and raised in Australia, directed only the original “Saw”; he produced the rest. He handed off the directorial reins on “Insidious” to Mr. Whannell after Chapter 2. While he is set to direct the highly anticipated “Aquaman” (the only thing he would say about movie is that it was “a work in progress”), others directed the “Conjuring” spinoff “Annabelle” and its sequel. He will be a producer on “Mortal Kombat.”The “Conjuring” universe, he said, is different. “I guess I wanted to make sure no one screwed it up,” he said. “Or if anyone did, it would be me.”Based on the notorious Enfield Haunting in Britain in the late ’70s, “The Conjuring 2” concerns a single mother (Frances O’Connor), her four children and their modest North London home, which becomes possessed by demons. Mr. Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as the Warrens in a film that has Warner Bros. muscle behind it, and as such, advances Mr. Wan’s goal: restoring horror films to the status they enjoyed in the ’70s and ’80s.“Ask anyone,” he said, “and they’ll tell you that most of the good horror films made in the U.S. are indie films. You might get ‘The Ring’ or ‘The Others,’ but most are independently produced.”
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With “The Conjuring 2,” he said, “I really wanted to try and bring the kind of respect back to studio horror filmmaking — ‘Jaws,’ ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘Poltergeist,’ ‘The Amityville Horror,’ these were big studio films. Real movies with real budgets.” (For the record, Mr. Wan expressed no interest in romantic comedy.)Mr. Wilson, who has done two “Insidious” films and two “Conjuring” movies, appreciates the difference between making a $1.5 million film (“Insidious”) and a $20 million film (“The Conjuring”).“The difference of having three and half or four weeks and having eight or 10 is unbelievable,” he said. “To have the studio’s support and a budget 20 or 30 times more than the smaller-budget films? That’s nice. It’s not about the paycheck; James wants all the toys, and I say that in a respectful way. It’s nice to see James leading that charge.”