Believer’ lures horror fans, takes control of box office with $27.2M

LOS ANGELES − “The Exorcist: Believer” spun heads and drove off all foes at the box office.

Facing no competition from major new releases, the latest resurrection of the demonic franchise brought in $27.2 million in North America in its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

That was more than the weekend take of the next three films combined. But while it nearly earned back its reported budget of $30 million in just a few days, the take for “The Exorcist: Believer” was underwhelming as the launch of a new trilogy.

Last week’s top film, “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” was a distant second, with $11.8 million, and has earned $38.9 million after two weekends. Another horror sequel, “Saw X,” was third with $8.2 million, and has brought in $32.6 million after two weekends.

Spoilers! How ‘The Exorcist: Believer’ movie delivers a new demon and ‘incredible’ cameo

The new “Exorcist” was released just shy of the 50th anniversary of the original horror classic, and comes just two months after the death of the original film’s director, William Friedkin.

Directed by David Gordon Green, who has become a legacy sequel specialist after helming a trilogy of “Halloween” films, “The Exorcist: Believer” stars “Hamilton” actor Leslie Odom Jr., with Lidya Jewett as his 13-year-old daughter.

‘The Exorcist: Believer’ review: Sequel is plenty demonic but lacks horror classic’s soul

The film got poor reviews, managing a critics score of just 23% positive on Rotten Tomatoes. USA TODAY’s Brian Truitt wrote that the film did “a decent job living up to a legendary predecessor” while also being “nowhere near as profoundly scary as William Friedkin’s genre-defining chiller.”

The top five was rounded out by Disney’s AI thriller “The Creator” (No. 4, $6.1 million) and “Duck Dynasty” prequel “The Blind” (No. 5, $3.1 million).

The weekend finally saw “Barbie” fall from the top 10 for the first time since the movie’s release in July, after well over $600 million in domestic earnings and more than $1.3 billion globally.

Final numbers are expected Tuesday.

Contributing: Kim Willis, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘The Exorcist: Believer’ movie lures horror fans, wins box office


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