FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Universal/Blumhouse/Morgan Creek’s The Exorcist: Believer is opening to $28M at this point in time. While that’s in the mean range of successful horror films like Evil Dead ($24.5M), Smile ($22.6M) and The Black Phone ($23.6M), and just under tracking’s $30M, it’s very far from the $76.2M 2018 opening of David Gordon Green’s Halloween, and it’s an opening that doesn’t look very good next to the $400M that the studios shelled out for the franchise, which was in a competitive situation, meaning the price kept going up and up. We’re still making heads and tails of this. I’m told a this time that was a franchise rights buy, not solely a deal for three movies that would each cost $133M. When have you heard of a horror film costing that much? Never. What we’ve told you is that The Exorcist reboot was made for $30M before P&A. Friday is coming in at $12M at 3,663 theaters including last night’s previews of $2.85M.
Paramount’s Paw Patrol: The Might Movie at 4,027 theaters is seeing a second Friday of $2.8M, 3-day of $11.5M, -49% for a ten-day of $38.6M.
Third is Lionsgate‘s Saw X with a second estimated Friday of $2.5M at 3,262 theaters and a second weekend of $8.6M, -53% for a ten-day of $33M.
New Regency/20th Century Studios/Disney’s The Creator at 3,680 theaters has a second projected Friday of $1.5M, 3-day of $5.3M, -62% for a running total of $24.1M by EOD Sunday.
Fifth is New Line’s The Nun 2 with a fifth Friday of $750K, 3-day of $2.6M, -46%, and a running total of $81M.
The weekend is shaping up to be less than $100M for all movies again.
FRIDAY AM: David Gordon Green’s The Exorcist: Believer kept the horror peace train going at the box office with $2.85M in previews Thursday night on its way to a potential high-$20M-to-$30M start.
Previews began at 5 p.m. in 3,050 theaters. Universal has Imax and PLFs on this one, which is booked at 3,663 theaters.
Exorcist: Believer‘s previews are just $850K more than what Lionsgate’s Saw X pulled in last Thursday; that $13M production ended its first week very well with an estimated $24.4M. That is more than 2017’s Jigsaw aka Saw 8, which grossed a first week of $22.1M. The Twisted Pics tenthquel horror movie led the B.O. in its weekdays despite Paramount and Spin Master’s PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie winning last weekend.
The canine cartoon ended its first week with an estimated $27.1M. Unlike Barbenheimer this past summer, it wasn’t a Saw Patrol-type of week with moviegoers showing up dressed like Jigsaw and puppies Delores and Skype at cinemas, but it was an OK enough autumn frame at the top of the chart in the midst of an actors strike when thespians can’t promote.
The Nun 2, which Exorcist: Believer looked like demo-wise in its eyeing of 18- to-34-year-olds and older males, drew $3.1M in previews before posting $32.6M start.
While Saw X was the franchise-best with critics at 83% certified fresh, the $400M franchise pickup of Exorcist: The Believer not so much, at 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. But the Exorcist package didn’t cost that much for Universal, Peacock, Blumhouse and Morgan Creek — Exorcist: Believer itself as a feature production only cost $30M before P&A. By the way, that’s not the lowest rank for an Exorcist movie as Exorcist II: The Heretic back in 1977 has 9%, per the review aggregator site.
It’s still a far cry from Green’s reboot of Halloween in 2018, which was 79% certified fresh with critics. Halloween drew $7.7M in previews and went on to be the fourth-highest opening of October with $76.2M. Exorcist: Believer sees Ellen Burstyn’s return to the franchise as the mother of the demon-possessed child; her last appearance was in the original 1973 movie from the late William Friedkin.
This past weekend we were originally suppose to see Sony’s start to the Marvel franchise, Kraven the Hunter, but the Culver City lot postponed the movie to next Labor Day weekend on account of the actors walkout. While less product is bad for exhibition, a smart movie on behalf of Sony which will really need that pic’s cast, including Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Ariana DeBose to prop the pic. Originally, Exorcist: Believer was suppose to open on Oct. 13, until AMC’s Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film made her way on the schedule, racked up crazy pre-sales, and made the Uni/Blumhouse title go a week earlier.
Saw X saw $1.1M yesterday, -16% from Wednesday, while PAW Patrol 2 had $900K, +7%. In third was New Regency/20th Century Studios/Disney’s Gareth Edwards sci-fi movie The Creator, which posted $814K yesterday, -20% from Wednesday for a first week of $18.8M. Fathom’s The Blind was in fourth yesterday with an estimated $565K, +27% from Wednesday for a $6.5M week and a $7.3M running total. Fathom has another faith-based title breaking into the weekend, Mother Teresa & Me, which got off to an estimated $348K start yesterday in fifth place for the day.
Content Source: deadline.com