The Exorcist: Believer Box Office Collection: While this weekend’s release of The Exorcist: Believer made ripples at the box office, its returns were underwhelming considering the astronomical $400 million that Universal and Blumhouse paid to gain its rights to a new trilogy.
Casting Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr. and Lidya Jewett, who plays Chris MacNeil’s 13-year-old daughter, in the key roles, and directed by David Gordon Green (well known for his Halloween trilogy).
Domestic Box Office
The Exorcist: Believer debuted domestically to a dismal $27.2 million, far less than the $1 billion that Universal Studios paid in 2014 to buy the rights to this film franchise. Although Universal had high hopes for the revived series, the first two films have been overwhelming thus far.
The R-rated horror film starring Lidya Jewett and Leslie Odom Jr. had to move its initial release date because Taylor Swift revealed her Eras Tour concert movie would launch on the same date. The Exorcist: Believer needed the more expensive screens available for opening weekend, but Swift’s concert film snatched them all up.
The website Rotten Tomatoes only awarded it a 22% rating, and viewers gave it a C on CinemaScore.
Even if The Exorcist: Believer didn’t fare as well as other recent films like Saw X and The Nun 2, that doesn’t make it a flop. The Exorcist: Believer will have a hard time making back its money because of competition from Halloween and PaW Patrol: The Mighty Movie.
Overseas Box Office
Although The Exorcist: Believer bombed at home, the movie was a massive success in other countries. The opening weekend in Mexico brought in $4.2 million, and the opening weekend in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain also saw strong numbers.
Unfortunately for Universal, their initial estimates for Believer’s opening weekend were over $38 million. The film’s failure to attract enough moviegoers makes it seem like a waste of their time and money to revive the franchise.
After its initial release in 1973, The Exorcist made over $1 billion (before adjusting for inflation) worldwide. As far as R-rated films go, it was a huge financial success. Only The Exorcist II: The Heretic made back its initial investment, and none of the others were even profitable.
With a C CinemaScore from opening day audiences and negative reviews from reviewers, it’s unclear if The Exorcist: Believer will be able to turn things around. If it’s a hit, maybe DVD sales and some merchandising deals will help keep the money rolling in.
Social Media Promotions
The Exorcist: Believer was a compelling theological drama capitalizing on viewers’ fascination with ghosts and other eerie supernatural occurrences. Believer, which received just 23% positive reviews from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, had a projected $27.2 million opening weekend in North America, comfortably besting PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie from the previous week. It earned an additional $17 million internationally for a worldwide opening of $45.1 million, easily beating last week’s champ, PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, by nearly two to one.
The first of three Exorcist sequels in the works, this Universal/Blumhouse film starring Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton) and Lidya Jewett failed to meet box office estimates of $30 million.
The film suffered because its stars couldn’t promote it on Twitter during the SAG-AFTRA strike. Still, distributors are probably thrilled that the film has already earned back more than its $30 million budget at the box office.
Overall Box Office
Predictions for the opening weekend of The Exorcist: Believer was about $30 million; thus, the film has underperformed so far. Compared to comparable films in its genre with similar opening weekends, such as The Pope’s Exorcist and Megan, the number may look decent, but it needs to catch up to expectations.
As the first installment of a planned trilogy, Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions had a lot riding on the success of The Exorcist: Believer. Universal’s rumored $400 million investment in acquiring the rights may pay off.
The Exorcist: Believer hasn’t done well at the box office, and that’s a shame for everyone involved in making it. Audiences needed to be more affected by what was shown onscreen to enjoy it in cinemas, as seen by a low 22% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an uninspiring C CinemaScore, neither bode well for favorable word of mouth moving forward.
The Exorcist: Believer has a good chance of making its money back in the first several weeks after its debut because of the popularity of horror films. There will be more scary movies in theaters before Halloween.
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