The sequel that's a prequel to the spin-off from The Conjuring has claimed the number one spot at the US box office. Annabelle Creation managed a better than expected $35 million during its opening weekend, only narrowly behind the $37.1 million launch of the first film back in 2014 which went on to gross more than $224 million worldwide.

Warner Bros might have been their own worst enemy trying to accelerate their DC Universe with the likes of Batman v Superman, but they've done a cracking job building a shared Conjuring Universe. In addition to a third Conjuring and the inevitable Annabelle 3, two further spin-offs are on the way with The Nun already in production and The Crooked Man set to film early next year.

Elsewhere in the US top ten, Christopher Nolan's wartime epic Dunkirk continues to hold its ground in second place adding another $10.8 million to its domestic total. Currently sitting on a global haul of more than $360 million, the tenth film fromNolan is already the hot favourite to sweep next year's Academy Awards.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature came in third place with an underwhelming $8.3 million, that's $11 million less than what the first one opened to three years ago. I said it in 2014, and I'll repeat it now, the fact that animation can be done cheaper than Pixar, Dreamworks, or even the thrifty Illumination will lead to fodder like The Nut Job that is well below even TV special quality. The first movie made $120 million worldwide against a budget of $42 million, not exactly crying out for a follow-up, but a robust performance on Home Entertainment made a sequel a viable option. Given the weak opening weekend, The Nut Job 2 will need to sell a nut load of DVDs to get a third film into cinemas.

As we're neatly on the subject of cost effective animation that nobody asked for, The Emoji Movie dropped to sixth place and has currently extracted $97 million from audiences worldwide. Meanwhile, Sony's The Dark Tower slipped to fourth place for a domestic total of $34 million after two weeks on release. The international box office paints a similarly disappointing picture with just $19 million taken thus far. On the up side, The Dark Tower has only been released in half of its international territories, and it arrives in the UK this Friday.

Thankfully, it's not all doom and gloom at the box office with the sleeper hit Girls Trip nearing a domestic total of $100 million. The R-rated comedy starring Jada Pinkett-Smith, Queen Latifah, and Regina Hall is on track to out perform last summer's Bad Moms and may give Bridesmaids a run for its money.