Universal and Blumhouse’s ‘Exorcist: Believer’ is easily on track to set a franchise record opening of $30 million or more – Box Office Prediction. Morgan Creek’s The Exorcist: Believer will kick off the autumn box office with a $30M-$36M domestic debut at 3,600 theaters, continuing horror’s head-spinning run.
The R-rated reboot/sequel is currently moving demo-wise, similar to The Nun 2. Which had a $32.6M opening, indicating that it’s popular with the 18-34 demographic, Hispanic and Latino moviegoers and older men. Nun 2 had a somewhat greater female audience (52%). And this David Gordon Green-directed Exorcist chapter is projected to have a similar gender split. Previews will begin Thursday at 5 p.m. on Imax and PLF screens at Universal.
The Exorcist: Believer and Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour will arrive in the theaters the same day
According to reports, the production cost of The Exorcist: Believer is $30 million before profit and loss. Amid an actors strike that prevents talent from being promoted. Branded horror has had solid debuts with Nun 2 but also this past weekend with Saw X. Which cut off $18.3M and boosted the franchise’s all-time low start on previous chapter Spiral ($8.75M) by 109%. Saw X led the box office on Monday with an anticipated take of $1.56 million, bringing the tenth sequel’s total to $19.8 million.
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The big issue is how Exorcist: Believer will fare when Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour arrives in theaters on October 13. You may recall that Universal shifted Exorcist: The Believer ahead by a week to avoid the Swift storm.
Branded films have a better chance at the box office than original IP during an actor’s strike. As evidenced by The Creator’s lighter start of $14M and Dumb Money’s lackluster wide break of $3.3M, the SAG-AFTRA walkout is watering down all earnings with thespians unable to promote their films.
Even if Exorcist: Believer opens in the upper $20 million range. Morgan Creek may consider it a franchise record opening. National opening weekends were not tracked by the industry when the original The Exorcist debuted in 1973. Generating $233 million in the United States and earning Oscars for Best Sound and William Peter Blatty’s adapted screenplay.
The Exorcist premiered to $9.3 million in 1990, by far the highest opening. For a film in the franchise to that point, and eventually grossed $26 million. The re-release of the original film in 2000 was a box office success, opening to $8.1 million and grossing $39.4 million.