The Big Picture
- Universal’s The Exorcist: Believer is underperforming in its opening weekend, possibly due to poor reviews or overestimation of its commercial potential.
- The film’s budget was relatively low at $30 million, but Universal spent $400 million for the rights to the franchise. Recovering costs for the planned trilogy is uncertain.
- PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie is expected to slip to second place after earning $2.8 million on its second Friday. The film is estimated to make over $11 million in its sophomore weekend, surpassing the previous film’s domestic total of $40 million. Saw X is also holding its ground with an estimated $9 million weekend.
Universal’s The Exorcist: Believer is coming in under expectations in its opening weekend, and it isn’t clear yet if this is because of the poor reviews or the studio’s vast overestimation of the franchise’s commercial potential. On Friday, the film picked up $11.9 million, which includes the $2.8 million that it made in Thursday previews. The legacy sequel is expected to gross around $28 million across the three-day opening weekend, which is lower than the $30 million to $35 million range that many were forecasting some days ago.
With a reported budget of $30 million, the movie didn’t cost that much to produce. But Universal is said to have shelled out $400 million for the rights to the franchise alone, and who’s to say if the studio will be able to recover sunk-costs across the planned new trilogy. The Exorcist: Believer was directed by David Gordon Green, who most recently collaborated with Blumhouse on a trio of new Halloween movies. His first Halloween film actually opened to $76 million, which might be what The Exorcist: Believer is looking at through the course of its entire run. Reviews for the movie have been very disappointing; The Exorcist: Believer currently sits at a “rotten” 23% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and could only manage a terrible C CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Last weekend’s number one film, the animated sequel PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, is expected to slip to second place after generating $2.8 million on its second Friday. The film is looking at an estimated sophomore weekend of over $11 million, which should take its running domestic total past $38 million. By comparison, 2021’s PAW Patrol: The Movie concluded its domestic run with $40 million, which the sequel should easily overtake. Lionsgate’s Saw X added $2.4 million on its second Friday, and is eyeing just under $9 million this weekend, which should take its running domestic haul to $33 million. The critically acclaimed 10th installment in the long-running horror franchise appears to be holding its own against very direct competition from the new Exorcist movie, and is estimated to drop only by 55%, which is a remarkable hold for a horror title.
Three Horror Titles Grabbed Spots in the Top Five
The original science-fiction film The Creator will take the fourth place in its second weekend, after delivering an underwhelming opening last week. The film added $1.7 million on its second Friday, taking its domestic total to $20 million. The Creator is expected to make around $5.5 million this weekend, which represents a hefty 64% drop. Much has been said about the film’s unique production, which director Gareth Edwards estimates saved 20th Century Studios hundreds of millions. But the pre-release buzz hasn’t quite translated into big box office numbers for the $80 million production, which should crack the $50 million mark worldwide this weekend.
Fifth place went to holdover hit The Nun II, meaning that three out of five movies on this list are horror titles, which is exactly what you’d hope to see in the month of October. The latest installment in the Conjuring Universe generated $725,000 on its fifth Friday, and is expected to gross around $2.5 million over the weekend, which should take its running domestic total past the $80 million mark. Globally, the film is approaching $250 million. Stay tuned to Collider for more box office updates over the weekend.