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This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Taissa Farmiga as Sister Irene in 'The Nun II.' Image Credit: AP

Like many horrors before it, bad reviews didn’t scare off moviegoers from buying tickets for 'The Nun II.' The sequel to the 2018 hit, released in 3,728 theatres by Warner Bros, topped the box office in its first weekend in North American theatres, earning an estimated $32.6 million, the studio said on Sunday.

Horror is perhaps the most reliably critic-proof genre, at least when it comes to opening weekend. The Michael Graves-directed sequel, starring Taissa Farmiga and Storm Reid, fell far short of the debut for the first film ($53.8 million), but it’s still a solid launch. 'The Nun' movies are part of the so-called Conjuring universe, which now has nine films, and $2.1 billion in box office, to its name.

'The Nun II' bumped Denzel Washington’s 'Equalizer 3' to second place in its second weekend. The Columbia Pictures release added $12.1 million, bringing its domestic grosses to $61.9 million and its worldwide earnings to $107.7 million.

Third place went to another new movie: The third instalment of Nia Vardalos’s 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding,' which arrives 21 years after the first film became a massive sleeper hit, earning some $369 million against a $5 million production budget. Released by Focus Features in 3,650 theatres, the third film earned an estimated $10 million, overwhelmingly driven by female audiences (71 per cent) who were 25 or older (83 per cent).

Vardalos wrote, directed and stars in 'Greek Wedding 3,' which brings back John Corbett and takes the gang to Greece. AP’s Jocelyn Noveck wrote in her review that the movie, which has got  mostly poor marks, is “like a thrice-warmed piece of baklava.”