‘Exorcist: Believer’ Smashes Box Office Records with $30 Million Opening

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The upcoming film, ‘Exorcist: Believer’ Smashes Box Office Records produced by Universal/Blumhouse/Morgan Creek, is set to make a significant impact on the autumn box office. It is expected to have a strong domestic start, generating between $30 million to $36 million. The movie will be shown in approximately 3,600 locations across the country. Horror enthusiasts can anticipate an exciting and thrilling experience with this highly anticipated release.

The R-rated reboot/sequel is currently trending among a specific demographic, including the 18-34 age group, Hispanic and Latino audiences, as well as older males. This is evident from its impressive $32.6 million opening weekend box office performance, illustrating its strong appeal to these target audiences. The second installment of the movie “Nun” has a slightly higher female audience at 52%. It is anticipated that this upcoming installment, directed by David Gordon Green, will have an almost equal male and female split. Universal will be screening previews of the film on Thursday at 5PM on Imax and PLF screens. The production cost for “The Exorcist: Believer” is reported to be $30 million before advertising and promotion expenses (P&A).

Despite an ongoing actors’ strike that restricts talent from promoting, the horror genre has seen strong box office openings. The sequel “Nun 2” performed well, and this past weekend, “Saw X” made an impressive $18.3 million. This marked a significant rebound for the franchise, considering its previous installment “Spiral” had a notably low opening of $8.75 million. In fact, “Saw X” surpassed its predecessor’s opening by an impressive 109%. These recent successes demonstrate the enduring popularity of branded horror films in today’s market. “Saw X” dominated the box office, earning an impressive estimated Monday revenue of $1.56 million. This brings the total earnings for the tenth installment in the franchise to a substantial $19.8 million so far.

The release of Exorcist: Believer has been strategically timed to avoid any conflicts with Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated Eras Tour, which hits cinemas on October 13th. To ensure maximum exposure and minimize competition, Universal made the decision to move up the release of Exorcist: Believer by one week. This strategic move ensures that both films can be enjoyed by their respective audiences without overshadowing each other in the box office.

During an actors’ strike, it is often believed that branded movies have a higher chance of success at the box office compared to original IP. This notion is supported by examples such as Creator, which had a solid start with $14 million in earnings, and Dumb Money, which had a disappointing wide release earning only $3.3 million. The ongoing SAG-AFTRA walkout has had a significant impact on the entertainment industry. Unfortunately, it has resulted in lower box office numbers as actors are unable to participate in promotional activities.

Although Exorcist: Believer may open in the high $20Ms, Universal/Blumhouse/Morgan Creek can still consider it a record-breaking opening for the franchise.During the release of the first Exorcist movie in 1973, national opening weekend box office records were not yet tracked by the film industry. Despite this, the movie went on to achieve tremendous success, grossing an impressive $233 million domestically. In addition to its financial achievements, The Exorcist also received recognition from the Academy Awards, winning Oscars for Best Sound and William Peter Blatty’s adapted screenplay. In the 1990s, “Exorcist III” had a very successful opening, earning $9.3 million. This was the highest debut among all the movies in the “Exorcist” franchise up until that point. It went on to make a total of $26 million at the box office. Similarly, when the original movie was re-released in 2000, it proved to be a profitable venture with an initial box office collection of $8.1 million and a total gross of $39.4 million.

Universal, in collaboration with Blumhouse, Morgan Creek, and streaming service Peacock, has acquired the global rights to the franchise Exorcist for a substantial amount of $400 million. As part of this deal, the latest reboot/sequel will be available on PVOD (Premium Video-On-Demand) platforms around 17 days after its release and on Peacock after 45 days. This partnership showcases the growing trend of studios leveraging both traditional and streaming platforms to maximize distribution reach for their content.Ellen Burstyn returns to the big screen to portray Chris MacNeil, the mother of the child possessed by a demon in the original film. Her performance in this role was so remarkable that she received a nomination for Best Actress at the Oscars.Burstyn did not take part in any of the previous installments of the Exorcist series, which were generally criticized by audiences. These include Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), The Exorcist III (1990), Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005).

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