Exorcist: Believer Overpowers Box Office with $27.2 Million Opening Weekend

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“Exorcist: Believer” dominated the box office, casting out all competitors in its opening weekend. In a market without significant new releases, the contemporary spin-off of the infamous demonic franchise accrued a rewarding US $27.2 million throughout North America. Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions saw their revived monster succeed beyond their expectations.

This considerable sum towered over the combined revenue of the three next highest-grossing films. The return on “Exorcist: Believer” is promising, almost recouping its initial investment of US $30 million within days. However, the magnitude of the US $400 million expenditure by both companies in 2021 to secure the rights to a new trilogy tempers the success of the new release.

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“PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” the reigning box office champion from the previous week, settle for second place, raising only US $11.8 million to bring its two-week total to US $38.9 million for Paramount Pictures. The horror sequel “Saw X” from Lionsgate Films found itself in third spot, grossing US $8.2 million. After two weekends, it has collected a total of US $32.6 million.

The fresh reprisal of “Exorcist,” debuted half a century after the inception of the classic horror series and a mere two months following the passing of the original film’s director, William Friedkin.

Helmed by David Gordon Green, a maestro of legacy sequels known for his direction of the “Halloween” films, “Exorcist: Believer” features stage star from “Hamilton,” Leslie Odom Jr., alongside Lidya Jewett, who plays his on-screen 13-year-old daughter.

Despite big names, the film could not sway the critics. A dismal 23% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes reflected its underperformance. Jake Coyle from the Associated Press was among the more favourable reviewers, providing a modest two-star rating and appraising the competent acting and directing, whilst lamenting its inability to rival the pervasive terror of the original.

Past the weekend, the film “Barbie” found itself out of the top 10 at the box office for the first time since its premiere on July 21, having made over US $600 million domestically and exceeding US $1.3 billion worldwide.

The comprehensive list of estimated ticket sales across U.S and Canadian theatres from Friday to Sunday released by Comscore is as follows:

"The Exorcist: Believer," US $27.2 million.
"Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie," US $11.8 million.
"Saw X," US $8.2 million.
"The Creator," US $6.1 million.
"The Blind," US $3.1 million.
"A Haunting in Venice," US $2.6 million.
"The Nun II," US $2.1 million.
"Dumb Money," US $1.8 million.
"Hocus Pocus" (1993 rerelease), US $1.5 million.