The Conjuring Universe
|The Conjuring Universe|
|Created by||James Wan|
|Original work||The Conjuring (2013)|
|Owned by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Films and television|
|Film(s)||List of films|
|Short film(s)||List of short films|
The Conjuring Universe is an American media franchise and shared universe centered on a series of supernatural horror films, produced by New Line Cinema, the Safran Company, and Atomic Monster Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The films present a dramatization of the supposed real-life cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent yet controversial cases of haunting. The main series follows their attempts to assist people who find themselves possessed by demonic spirits, while the spin-off films focus on the origins of some of the entities the Warrens have encountered.
The franchise has been commercially successful, having grossed a combined $1.9 billion against a combined budget of $139.5 million, becoming the second highest-grossing horror franchise ever behind Godzilla.
The franchise consists of two films in the main series, The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring 2 (2016), both directed by James Wan, co-produced by Peter Safran and Rob Cowan, and co-written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes. The first two installments revolve around two of the many famous paranormal cases of which the Warrens have been a part, with the first film depicting the case of the Perron family, who are experiencing disturbing events in their newly acquired house in Rhode Island. The second entry focused on the controversial case of the Enfield poltergeist while briefly referring to the events that inspired The Amityville Horror. A sequel to the two films, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, is in post-production, with Michael Chaves serving as director, and is scheduled for release on June 4, 2021. The third entry will revolve around the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, a murder that took place in 1981 in Connecticut.
The franchise also includes Annabelle (2014), a prequel directed by The Conjuring cinematographer John R. Leonetti and produced by Safran and Wan, which revealed the events of the doll of the same name before the Warrens came into contact with it at the start of the first film. A prequel, Annabelle: Creation (2017), directed by David F. Sandberg shows the events of the origins of the demon-manipulated doll. A third Annabelle film, Annabelle Comes Home, was released on June 26, 2019, with franchise writer Gary Dauberman making his directorial debut from a script he wrote. Producer James Wan has likened the story to Night at the Museum, where Annabelle activates the haunted objects in the Warrens' artifact room.
The Nun, a prequel based on a character introduced in The Conjuring 2, was released in 2018. The plot focused on the origins of the demonic nun Valak before coming in contact with the Warrens. In April 2019, a sequel to The Nun was announced with Akela Cooper penning the script and Wan and Safran co-producing the project.
The two Conjuring films were met with generally positive reviews by both critics and horror fans, earning praise for Wan's directing and main cast performances, particularly Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga's on-screen chemistry as Ed and Lorraine. Critics also acknowledged the effect the films have had on popular culture as well as in the production of modern horror films. The first entry in the Annabelle film series received more mixed to negative reviews, being considered by many as an inferior film to its forerunner. Annabelle: Creation was met with generally positive reviews. A sequel to both Annabelle films, Annabelle Comes Home, received mixed reviews. The Nun and The Curse of La Llorona, on the other hand, received generally mixed to negative reviews. The two main films and its five spin-offs have proven themselves to be successful at the box office, having combined earnings of over $1.8 billion worldwide, against a combined budget of $139.5 million, making the Conjuring Universe the second highest-grossing horror franchise in history and one of the most critically acclaimed.
Development began over 20 years before the first film's debut, when Ed Warren played a tape of Lorraine Warren's original interview with Carolyn Perron for producer Tony DeRosa-Grund. DeRosa-Grund made a recording of Warren playing back the tape and of their subsequent discussion. At the end of the tape, Warren said to DeRosa-Grund: "If we can't make this into a film I don't know what we can". DeRosa-Grund then described his vision of the film for Ed.
DeRosa-Grund wrote the original treatment and titled the project The Conjuring. For nearly 14 years, he tried to get the film made without any success. He originally landed a deal to make the film at Gold Circle Films, the production company behind The Haunting in Connecticut, but a contract could not be finalized and the deal was dropped.
DeRosa-Grund allied with producer Peter Safran, and sibling writers Chad and Carey W. Hayes were brought on board to refine the script. Using DeRosa-Grund's treatment and the Ed Warren tape, the Hayes brothers changed the story's point of view from the Perron family to that of the Warrens. The brothers interviewed Lorraine many times over the phone to clarify details. By mid-2009, the property became the subject of a six-studio bidding war that landed the film at Summit Entertainment; however, DeRosa-Grund and Summit could not conclude the transaction and the film went into turnaround. DeRosa-Grund reconnected with New Line Cinema, who had lost in the original bidding war, and the studio ultimately picked up the film. The same year on November 11, a deal was made between New Line and DeRosa-Grund's Evergreen Media Group.
|Film||U.S. release date||Director(s)||Screenwriter(s)||Story by||Producer(s)||Status|
|The Conjuring series|
|The Conjuring||July 19, 2013||James Wan||Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes||Tony DeRosa-Grund, Peter Safran & Rob Cowan||Released|
|The Conjuring 2||June 10, 2016||Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick & James Wan||Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes & James Wan||Peter Safran, Rob Cowan & James Wan|
|The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It||June 4, 2021||Michael Chaves||David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick||David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick & James Wan||Peter Safran & James Wan||Post-production|
|Annabelle||October 3, 2014||John R. Leonetti||Gary Dauberman||Peter Safran & James Wan||Released|
|Annabelle: Creation||August 11, 2017||David F. Sandberg|
|Annabelle Comes Home||June 26, 2019||Gary Dauberman||Gary Dauberman & James Wan|
|The Nun series|
|The Nun||September 7, 2018||Corin Hardy||Gary Dauberman||Gary Dauberman & James Wan||Peter Safran & James Wan||Released|
|Untitled The Nun sequel||TBA||TBA||Akela Cooper||In development|
|The Curse of La Llorona||April 19, 2019||Michael Chaves||Mikki Daughtry & Tobias Iaconis||James Wan, Gary Dauberman & Emile Gladstone||Released|
|The Crooked Man||TBA||TBA||Mike Van Waes||James Wan||Peter Safran & James Wan||In development|
|1972||Annabelle Comes Home|
|1973||The Curse of La Llorona|
|1977||The Conjuring 2|
|1981||The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It|
All eight films of the Conjuring Universe take place between 1952 and 1981.
The Conjuring series
The Conjuring (2013)
The first installment of the series (originally entitled The Warren Files, later retitled The Conjuring) centers on the real-life exploits of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a married couple who investigated paranormal events. Patrick Wilson starred alongside Vera Farmiga in the main roles of Ed and Lorraine. The film focused on the Warrens' 1971 case in which they investigated a witch's curse at a farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. The Conjuring was released on July 19, 2013, to positive reviews. It earned $318 million worldwide against a budget of $20 million, becoming one of the most profitable horror films in history.
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
A sequel, The Conjuring 2, was commissioned after the success of the original film and was also directed by Wan, with both Farmiga and Wilson reprising their roles. The film focused on the Enfield Poltergeist case in London in 1977, while briefly referring to the events that inspired The Amityville Horror. It was released on June 10, 2016, to positive reviews from both critics and audiences; some agreed that the film was vastly superior to other horror sequels, while others debated whether the film had surpassed its predecessor in quality. Proving to be similarly successful to the first entry in the series, the film became another profitable addition to the franchise, having earned $320.3 million worldwide from a budget of $40 million, and becoming the second highest-grossing horror film of all time, after The Exorcist, until It was released in 2017.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
In 2016, Wan stated that though he would not be directing another film in the series, due to scheduling conflicts, "there could be many more [Conjuring] movies because the Warrens have so many stories", acknowledging that "there are other filmmakers that I would love to sort of continue on the Conjuring world". Wan said that the next film in the series would take place during the 1980s and spoke of ideas for the films to explore lycanthropy, citing American Werewolf in London and The Hound of the Baskervilles as inspiration. Safran stated that the next film would not be a haunted house movie.David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick was hired to write the screenplay. In August 2017, Wan explained that the third movie had been in development a long time, as all the creative minds involved wanted it to live up to the quality of the previous two films.
In October 2018, Michael Chaves was announced as the film's director, after previously directing The Curse of La Llorona. Wan was impressed while working with Chaves on the film, and claimed that Chaves would make a great addition to the creative team. Wilson and Farmiga reprise their roles as Ed and Lorraine Warren, with the plot revolving around the real-life "Devil Made Me Do It" case, a legal trial where the defendant claimed to have been possessed during the crimes of which he is accused. Production began on June 3, 2019. The film was initially scheduled for a September 11, 2020 release, before being pushed to June 4, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A spin-off film, focusing on the origins of the Annabelle doll that was introduced in The Conjuring, was announced shortly after the release of its forerunner, mainly due to the film's worldwide box office success, and positive reception towards the character. The plot focused on John and Mia Form, a married couple expecting a child, whose vintage doll, Annabelle, gets possessed by a vengeful spirit after a cult group breaks into their home and is murdered. The film was directed by The Conjuring cinematographer John R. Leonetti and produced by Safran and Wan, with Gary Dauberman behind the script. The film was released worldwide on October 3, 2014, to major commercial success, becoming the 14th most profitable horror film in North America, despite receiving mixed to negative reviews from critics and fans alike. Many critics found Annabelle to be an inferior film compared to The Conjuring.
Annabelle: Creation (2017)
An Annabelle sequel was in development, eventually revealed to be a prequel to the original film. The plot of the film centers on a dollmaker and his wife, whose daughter tragically died twelve years earlier, as they decide to open their home to a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage; the dollmaker's possessed creation Annabelle sets her sights on the children and turns their shelter into a storm of horror. Lights Out director David F. Sandberg replaced Leonetti as director, with Dauberman returning to write the script and Safran and Wan returning to produce. The film was released worldwide on August 11, 2017, to critical and commercial success, with many critics stating Annabelle: Creation was a vast improvement over its predecessor.
Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
The third installment in the Annabelle series, Annabelle Comes Home, featured Gary Dauberman as a writer and the director in his directorial debut. It was based on a story treatment written by Dauberman and James Wan. Wan and Peter Safran co-produced the project.
Annabelle Comes Home takes place after Annabelle and The Conjuring and focuses on the doll after she was kept in the glass box in the Warrens' museum. Wilson and Farmiga reprised their roles as Ed and Lorraine Warren, alongside Mckenna Grace as Judy Warren and Madison Iseman as Judy's teenage babysitter.  The film was released on June 26, 2019. Like its predecessors, the film became a commercial success and received reviews that ranged from mixed to positive.
The Nun series
The Nun (2018)
A spin-off film titled The Nun, featuring the "Demon Nun" character Valak from The Conjuring 2, was directed by Corin Hardy, with The Conjuring 2 co-scribe David Leslie Johnson as the writer and Wan and Safran as producers. Demián Bichir starred in the lead role, while Bonnie Aarons reprised her role in the film. The plot of the film follows a nun, a priest and a novitiate as they investigate an unholy secret and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun. The film was released on September 7, 2018 and grossed $365.6 million on a budget of 22 million, becoming the highest grossing film in the franchise, and received negative reviews from critics.
Untitled The Nun film (TBA)
In August 2017, Wan discussed a possibility for a Nun sequel and what its storyline may be: "I do know where potentially, if The Nun works out, where The Nun 2 could lead to and how that ties back to Lorraine's story that we've set up with the first two Conjurings and make it all come full circle".
In April 2019, Safran said that a sequel was in development, stating that there was a "really fun" storyline planned for the film, and commenting that there was an "inevitability to another The Nun movie". Later that month, Akela Cooper signed onto the project as screenwriter, while Safran and Wan will serve as producers. Bonnie Aarons will be reprising her role as Valak, the demon nun.
The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
In October 2017, Wan served as a producer of a horror film directed by Michael Chaves and starring Linda Cardellini, which was then titled The Children. The film was later retitled The Curse of La Llorona (also known as The Curse of the Weeping Woman in some international markets). Though marketed as a standalone film, there is a nod to the Conjuring Universe in the form of Tony Amendola, who reprises his role from Annabelle as Father Perez. The character gives direction to the family being tormented by the titular spirit, and relates the haunting to his experiences with the demonic entity attached to the doll.
Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velásquez and Sean Patrick Thomas co-star in the film. The Curse of La Llorona premiered at South by Southwest on March 15, 2019, to mixed reviews and had a wide theatrical release on April 19.
The Crooked Man (TBA)
In May 2017, Safran said that the Crooked Man was being considered by the studio, for a feature film. By June of the same year, a spin-off film titled The Crooked Man, featuring the character of the same name from The Conjuring 2, was in development with Mike Van Waes writing the script based on a story treatment by James Wan. Wan and Safran are set to produce the project. Wan later told that The Crooked Man is in the early stages of development and that the intent with the movie is to develop a "dark fairytale" sub-genre of horror films.
By September 2018, Safran gave an update on the project stating that the script was in progress of being written and that the studio intends to wait until the story is fully developed before production will begin. He further explained that the intention is for each of the different films in the franchise to have its own style.
In July 2017, Warner Bros. Pictures, in conjunction with James Wan, announced the "My Annabelle Creation" competition as a promotion for the then-upcoming film Annabelle: Creation. Participants of the competition were to shoot a short film which would "feel like (it) could exist within the established Conjuring world", with the winning films' directors having their films made a part of the shared film universe, and winning a trip to Los Angeles to meet with David F. Sandberg, the director of the film. The entry deadline was July 27 with five separate competition winners being selected from the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Sweden and Colombia.
|Film||U.S. release date||Director(s)||Screenwriter(s)||Story by||Cinematographer(s)||Producer(s)|
|The Nurse||August 16, 2017||Julian Terry||Alexander Anderson||Will Weprin||Alexander Anderson and Julian Terry|
|The Confession||August 26, 2017||Liam Banks||Liam Banks & Jonathan Butler||Tom Auzins & Jonathan Butler||Liam Banks and Charlie Clarke|
|What's Wrong With Mom?||September 4, 2017||Raùl Bribiesca||Alejandra Salcido||Ricardo de la Parra T. and Charloth Hernández|
|Blund's Lullaby||September 14, 2017||Amanda Nilsson & Magda Lindblom||Per Lindberg||Amanda Nilsson and Magda Lindblom|
|Innocent Souls||November 3, 2017||Alejandro López|
The winner from the United States competition was Julian Terry for his short film The Nurse. Just under two minutes in length and filmed over four days, it was released on August 16, 2017.
The short film begins with Emily (Aria Walters), a young girl with bandages wrapped around her eyes, hearing the door to her ward opening and the scraping sound of a gurney moving. As she goes outside to investigate, holding onto her drip for balance, a strange nurse (Hannah Palazzi) approaches, whom Emily cannot see. Panicking, she gets back to her ward and hits the call button for help. The nurse appears and tells Emily in a normal voice that she can remove the bandaging. Emily turns around to see the nurse's disfigured, demonic face smiling back at her. Emily screams in terror as the film ends, leaving her fate unknown.
The Confession is a British horror short film directed by Liam Banks which was the winner of the United Kingdom competition. Just over two minutes in length and filmed over one week, it was released on August 26, 2017.
The short film revolves around a psychologically-damaged young woman named Fiona (Esmee Matthews) who seeks refuge in her local church, confiding in a priest (Ernest Vernon) regarding her terrifying encounters with supernatural entities. Having escaped the evil within her house however, she finds that something far darker sits in the confession booth next to her.
What's Wrong With Mom?
What's Wrong With Mom? is a Mexican horror short film directed by Raúl Bribiesca which was the winner of the Mexican competition. Exactly two minutes in length and filmed in a single take, it was released on September 4, 2017.
In the film, a mother's health begins to deteriorate. Her daughter starts praying for her mother's health to improve but soon she finds out what is happening to her. The film revolves around a father (Fabián Hurtado) and daughter (Carina Pámenes) as they're praying to God to exorcise the family's mother (Perla Corona) of the "Marifer", a teleporting demon possessing her.
Blund's Lullaby is a 2017 Swedish horror short film directed by Amanda Nilsson and Magda Lindblom, which was the winner of the Swedish competition. Just over two minutes in length, the film was inspired by the Nordic version of the Sandman, known as John Blund. The Short film was released on September 14.
Innocent Souls is a Colombian horror short film directed by Alejandro López. The film was written and produced also by Alejandro López. Innocent Souls was the winner of the Colombian competition. The short film was released on November 3, 2017.
Recurring cast and characters
This table lists the main characters who appear in the Conjuring Universe, in alphabetical order by the character's last name.
This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in more than two films in the series.
- An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
- A indicates an appearance through archival footage.
- C indicates a cameo role.
- O indicates an older version of the character.
- V indicates a voice-only role.
- Y indicates a younger version of the character.
|The Conjuring||Annabelle||The Conjuring 2||Annabelle: Creation||The Nun||The Curse of La Llorona||Annabelle Comes Home||The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It|
|Camilla||Amy Tipton||Sade Katarina|
|Debbie||Morganna May||Kenzie Caplan|
|Joseph Bishara||Joseph Bishara
|Mia Form||Annabelle Wallis||Annabelle WallisA|
|John Form||Ward Horton||Ward HortonA|
|Father Gordon||Steve Coulter||Steve Coulter||Steve Coulter|
|Janice "Annabelle" Higgins||Tree O'Toole
|Pete Higgins||Brian Howe||Brian Howe|
|Sharon Higgins||Kerry O'Malley||Kerry O'Malley|
|Thin Man||Trampas Thompson||Trampas Thompson|
|Annabelle "Bee" Mullins||Samara Lee||Samara Lee|
|Father Perez||Tony Amendola||Tony Amendola|
|Carolyn Perron||Lili Taylor||Lili TaylorA|
|Maurice "Frenchie" Theriault||Christof Veillon||Christof VeillonA||Jonas Bloquet
|Drew Thomas||Shannon Kook||Shannon Kook||Shannon KookA||Shannon Kook|
The Crooked Man
Robin Atkin DownesV
|Bonnie Aarons||Bonnie AaronsC|
|Ed Warren||Patrick Wilson||Patrick WilsonV||Patrick Wilson||Patrick WilsonA||Patrick Wilson||Patrick Wilson|
|Judy Warren||Sterling Jerins||Sterling Jerins||Sterling JerinsA||Mckenna Grace||Sterling Jerins|
|Lorraine Warren||Vera Farmiga||Vera Farmiga||Vera FarmigaA||Vera Farmiga||Vera Farmiga|
Megan Ashley BrownY
Additional crew and production details
|Composer||Cinematographer||Editor(s)||Production companies||Distributing company||Running time|
|The Conjuring||Joseph Bishara||John R. Leonetti||Kirk Morri||New Line Cinema,
The Safran Company,
Evergreen Media Group
|Warner Bros. Pictures||1hr 52mins|
|Annabelle||James Kniest||Tom Elkins||New Line Cinema,
Atomic Monster Productions,
The Safran Company
|The Conjuring 2||Don Burgess||Kirk Morri||2hrs 14mins|
|Annabelle: Creation||Benjamin Wallfisch||Maxime Alexandre||Michael Aller||1hr 50mins|
|The Nun||Abel Korzeniowski||Michel Aller & Ken Blackwell||New Line Cinema,
Atomic Monster Productions,
The Safran Company
|The Curse of La Llorona||Joseph Bishara||Michael Burgess||Peter Gvozdas||New Line Cinema,
Atomic Monster Productions,
Emile Gladstone Productions
|Annabelle Comes Home||Kirk Morri||New Line Cinema,
Atomic Monster Productions,
The Safran Company
The Devil Made Me Do It
Box office performance
The franchise has been notable for its profit, with The Conjuring and its follow-up having earned a combined profit of $260 million, according to Deadline, while Annabelle managed to make 40 times its $6.5 million budget. Film critic and box office expert Scott Mendelson of Forbes has called the franchise the "first successful post–Marvel Cinematic Universe".
|Film||U.S. release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Ref(s)|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide||All time
|The Conjuring||July 19, 2013||$137,400,141||$182,094,497||$319,494,638||#430||#436||$20 million|||
|Annabelle||October 3, 2014||$84,273,813||$172,773,848||$257,047,661||#902||#571||$6.5 million|||
|The Conjuring 2||June 10, 2016||$102,470,008||$217,922,810||$320,392,818||#697||#433||$40 million|||
|Annabelle: Creation||August 11, 2017||$102,092,201||$204,423,683||$306,515,884||#703||#461||$15 million|||
|The Nun||September 7, 2018||$117,450,119||$248,100,000||$365,550,119||#568||#344||$22 million|||
|The Curse of La Llorona||April 19, 2019||$55,733,739||$68,400,000||$123,133,739||#1,546||#1,322||$9 million|||
|Annabelle Comes Home||June 26, 2019||$74,152,591||$157,100,000||$231,252,591||#1,079||#667||$27 million|||
Critical and public response
|The Conjuring||85% (218 reviews)||68 (35 reviews)||A−|
|Annabelle||29% (130 reviews)||37 (27 reviews)||B|
|The Conjuring 2||81% (246 reviews)||65 (38 reviews)||A−|
|Annabelle: Creation||71% (184 reviews)||62 (29 reviews)||B|
|The Nun||26% (194 reviews)||46 (32 reviews)||C|
|The Curse of La Llorona||29% (178 reviews)||41 (28 reviews)||B−|
|Annabelle Comes Home||65% (200 reviews)||53 (35 reviews)||B−|
Norma Sutcliffe and Gerald Helfrich, previous owners of the house on which The Conjuring was based, have sued Wan, Warner Bros. and other producers in 2015 because their property was being constantly vandalized as a consequence of the film. Entertainment Weekly obtained documents in which the owners affirm various invasions and ratify that they have found numerous objects affiliated with satanic cults. The lawsuit also reveals that the previous owners bought the house in 1987 and lived "in peace" until 2013. Both owners had been seeking unspecified damages. When questioned, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. declined to comment on the issue.
Gerald Brittle, author of a book about the Warrens called The Demonologist, filed a $900 million lawsuit on March 29, 2017, against Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, James Wan and others, claiming that he had the exclusive rights to the Warrens' story and that it had been illegally stolen by the studios and producers. The case was scheduled to go to trial on April 16, 2018, with a Warner Bros. spokesperson commenting: "We're pleased the Court significantly narrowed the case and look forward to addressing the remaining claims at summary judgment. Mr. Brittle's claims are not only without merit, but contradict Mr. Brittle's prior admissions in other failed lawsuits concerning The Conjuring movies". However, on December 13, 2017, Warner Bros. settled the lawsuit, revealing that Tony DeRosa-Grund, the producer of the original film, was the "mastermind" behind the lawsuit, without Brittle ever having been involved. A spokesperson commented: "New Line has contended all along that DeRosa-Grund was the mastermind behind the lawsuit, was controlling and directing the lawsuit, and had attempted to enter into secret side deals with Brittle". Brittle himself commented that "Mr. DeRosa-Grund has been controlling this litigation from the start. [...] Based on a review of text messages between Mr. DeRosa-Grund and my attorney, I understand that he even threatened my attorneys that if they sent information from me without him seeing it first they would be fired." Brittle went into further detail in the settlement. This follows repeated failed lawsuits by DeRosa-Grund to Warner Bros. for claims of owed millions of dollars from the franchise to the point where he was getting into trouble with the courts and reached a settlement with Warner Bros. to never sue them again for anything related to the franchise.
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- The Conjuring at IMDb
- The Conjuring 2 at IMDb
- Annabelle at IMDb
- Annabelle: Creation at IMDb
- The Nun at IMDb
- The Curse of La Llorona at IMDb
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- Annabelle Comes Home on Metacritic
- The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It on Metacritic