"The Exorcist: Believer" had a successful opening weekend at the box office, but now it faces competition from Taylor Swift. Analysts predict that the horror film will see a larger decline in ticket sales than usual. However, if positive word of mouth spreads, the film could have a solid run in the coming weeks.
During its opening weekend, "The Exorcist: Believer" earned $26.5 million, making it the top-grossing film of the weekend. However, this fell short of the $30 million prediction by box office analysts. With international ticket sales included, the film has generated $44 million. Despite this, the film's production budget of $30 million means it could still be profitable if it continues to attract moviegoers.
One obstacle for "The Exorcist: Believer" is Taylor Swift's concert film, which was originally set to release on the same day. The horror film moved its release date up a week to avoid direct competition with Swift. However, Swift's film has already become a blockbuster, earning $100 million in presales from AMC Entertainment cinemas alone. This competition from Swift's film will likely contribute to a sharp drop in ticket sales for "The Exorcist: Believer" in its second week.
Critics have given "The Exorcist: Believer" a 22% score on Rotten Tomatoes, while the audience rating is 59%. Despite mixed reviews, horror films often perform well theatrically regardless of critical reception. With several weeks left before Halloween, the film still has a chance to attract moviegoers seeking a scare.
Universal, the studio behind "The Exorcist: Believer," has invested heavily in the franchise and its planned sequels. The studio paid over $400 million for the rights to The Exorcist brand and has planned a trilogy of films. The success of these films is crucial for Universal, as previous films in the franchise have not performed as well at the box office. Only the original "Exorcist" film grossed over $42 million domestically, while the sequels and prequels combined earned less than $150 million.
The future success of the franchise will depend on creative decisions and attracting modern horror audiences. Universal and its streaming partner, Peacock, have integrated The Exorcist brand in various ways, including placing previous films on the streaming platform and incorporating it into Halloween events at theme parks.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and Peacock, distributes "The Exorcist: Believer" and owns Rotten Tomatoes.