We are now five movies deep into The Conjuring Universe, and thus far genre and objectives have been fairly consistent between all of the titles. To date, they've all been R-rated horror films built to terrify audiences. Thus far it's led to great worldwide success, with the entire international box office haul already totaling over $1 billion, and it's partially because of that success so far -- as producer Peter Safran explains -- that fans shouldn't expect any upcoming titles to start getting experimental with tone:
There really haven't been [any talks about that]. We try to have a certain consistency in the films in terms of what their core values and concepts are - the idea of faith, potential loss of faith; the idea that good and evil exist; and you're only real armor against evil is your faith, whatever that faith may be. So I think they're all going to live in that world, so I don't see them becoming 'lighter,' but I also don't see them becoming darker than what we're doing with The Nun, for example.
There is a tendency for franchises to start evolving and changing as they grow, but The Conjuring Universe apparently isn't quite there at this point. For now, the movies have hit a sweet spot with audiences (it helps that we are in the midst of a horror renaissance), and for now there is a specific goal at the heart of all these features that is going to stay consistent for the foreseeable future.
With a plan to keep the general tone the same for now, The Conjuring Universe is going to have to start getting creative in other areas. Thus far there has been a heavy focus on haunted houses, which is a classic in good vs. evil movies, but they'll have to start evolving beyond that. Peter Safran has specifically said that they will be moving away from that particular subgenre for The Conjuring 3 -- but the big question is in regards to what direction they turn. As I've written about before, I'd love to see werewolves be given some serious consideration.
Of course, all of this is the status quo now, but who is to say what direction things go in the future. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was built on the back of origin stories in the formation of Phase One, and with Phase Two they moved to a more "Superheroes-Plus" formula as they tried to mix genres together. The Conjuring Universe may not be at a place right now where evolution is necessary, but that time comes eventually for all expanded franchises -- because the alternative is staleness and death.
Following in the footsteps of Corin Hardy's The Nun, next up for The Conjuring Universe will be Gary Dauberman's untitled Annabelle 3 (set for release on July 3, 2019), and, as we revealed earlier this week, the plan is to follow it up with The Conjuring 3 -- which is currently aiming to film next year. For all of the latest updates about the franchise, be sure to keep checking in here on CinemaBlend.