Even before haunted-house tale The Conjuring hit theaters this summer, a sequel was in the works. The film managed to exceed expectations at the box office, earning more than $300 million worldwide, and thus assuring that a sequel would be warmly welcomed.
Now, however, comes word from Bloody Disgusting that three more spin-offs may be in the works, which we're afraid will be three too many. The Conjuring centered on a family plagued by unhappy spirits in their new home; they called upon paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) for help. The movie Warrens are based on a real-life couple who have investigated hundreds of paranormal cases -- including the one known as The Amityville Horror.
Reportedly, the three spin-offs will be based on more cases in their files, with the first one slated to explore the Annabelle doll, a powerful spirit locked up in the basement of the Warren home. The tentative title is The Annabelle Story, and production may begin as early as next month. All three spin-offs will be "microbudgeted," which almost ensures profitability. (The Conjuring had a reported budget of $20 million, so "microbudget" could mean anywhere from $1-5 million, or thereabouts.) Of course, even if the production is low budget, the studio still has to get the word out via marketing and publicity, and those expenses will exceed what was spent on the the actual making of the movie. Another point: a "microbudget" would likely mean that lesser known stars than Wilson and Farmiga would be involved.
From a business standpoint, it makes sense to strike while the iron is hot. But the idea of shoveling out product quickly is none too appealing to horror fans, who are all too accustomed to low-budget sequels and spin-offs and prequels that are little more than copycat projects. We'll keep a positive, yet cautious hope that these spin-offs will prove to be better than expected.