Los Angeles - "The Exorcist: Believer" proved to be a formidable force at the box office this weekend, although its performance fell short of extraordinary.
With no major new releases to compete with, the latest installment of the demonic franchise raked in an impressive $27.2 million in North America during its opening weekend. Produced by Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions, the film nearly recouped its reported $30 million budget within just a few days. However, considering that Comcast and Blumhouse spent a massive $400 million to acquire the rights for a new trilogy, the initial earnings of "The Exorcist: Believer" were somewhat underwhelming.
Last week's top film, "Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie," lagged behind in second place with $11.8 million. After two weekends, it has accumulated a total of $38.9 million for Paramount Pictures. Another horror sequel, "Saw X," landed in third place with $8.2 million for Lionsgate Films. Its total earnings stand at $32.6 million after two weekends.
Horror films seem to have found a devoted audience as Halloween approaches, with four titles ranking among the top 10 films at the box office.
"The demand for the horror genre among audiences seems to be everlasting," says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. "The communal theater experience is perfectly suited for it."
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the iconic original horror classic, the release of the new "Exorcist" comes just two months following the passing of director William Friedkin. Directed by David Gordon Green, best known for his work on the recent "Halloween" trilogy, "The Exorcist: Believer" features Leslie Odom Jr. from the hit musical "Hamilton," alongside Lidya Jewett as his 13-year-old daughter.
Film Reviews and Box Office Sales
The recently released film, "The Exorcist", has received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it only achieved a meager score of 23%. However, Jake Coyle of The Associated Press had a slightly more positive take, giving the film two out of four stars. He praised the lead performances and the skilled direction but noted that it failed to capture the same deep terror as the original.
To avoid competing with the highly anticipated concert film, "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour", the release of "The Exorcist" was rescheduled a week earlier. Analyst Paul Dergarabedian believes this was a wise decision, stating that the latter film is likely to dominate the box office. He described the surge of Swifties flocking to cinemas as unprecedented, with a potential $100 million weekend and the possibility of setting new records for concert movies.
Meanwhile, after an impressive run since its release on July 21, "Barbie" has finally dropped out of the top 10 at the box office. The film has grossed over $600 million domestically and more than $1.3 billion worldwide.
Here are the estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at theaters in the US and Canada, according to Comscore:
- "The Exorcist: Believer" - $27.2 million
- "PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie" - $11.8 million
- "Saw X" - $8.2 million
- "The Creator" - $6.1 million
- "The Blind" - $3.1 million
- "A Haunting In Venice" - $2.6 million
- "The Nun II" - $2.1 million
- "Dumb Money" - $1.8 million
- "Hocus Pocus" (1993 rerelease) - $1.5 million
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