In the dark and eerie realm of horror cinema, where the mere mention of The Exorcist sends shivers down the spines of moviegoers, the latest installment, The Exorcist: Believer, has encountered a formidable adversary – the towering legacy of its iconic predecessor. Directed by David Gordon Green, this film can now boast of being the second-highest-grossing entry in the franchise’s history. However, its journey to this achievement has been more like a horror story than a fairy tale, marked by a lackluster performance at the box office and less-than-enthused reviews.
Last weekend, The Exorcist: Believer did manage to claim the top spot at the box office, raking in a not-so-demonic $26 million. But here’s where the plot takes a sinister twist: critics and fans have collectively exorcised their enthusiasm for the film. It opened to a barrage of negative reviews and has struggled to regain its footing ever since.
The woes don’t stop there. Over the past weekend, The Exorcist: Believer was dethroned domestically, with a substantial 58% drop, courtesy of none other than Taylor Swift’s concert film, The Eras Tour. The movie has accumulated $44 million in domestic earnings and an additional $40 million from international markets, resulting in a total global box office take just shy of $84.9 million. Now, for most horror sequels with a reported production cost of $30 million, this would be a laudable achievement, but we’re talking about the Exorcist franchise, where expectations loom as ominously as Linda Blair’s possessed head spinning 360 degrees.
As any horror aficionado knows, the original Exorcist, directed by the late William Friedkin and released half a century ago, achieved unparalleled success. It terrified audiences, amassing an astonishing $440 million globally and clinching ten Oscar nominations, even securing a Best Picture nomination – a historic milestone for the horror genre.
However, the subsequent sequels have often fallen prey to the age-old curse of diminishing returns. Beginning with Exorcist II: The Heretic in 1977, which earned a meager $30 million worldwide, and followed by The Exorcist III in 1990 with $44 million, and the prequel Exorcist: The Beginning in 2004, which managed $78 million globally. Interestingly, The Beginning arose from the ashes of a film directed by Paul Schrader, which was deemed too avant-garde and eventually underwent a cosmetic transformation into Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist.
Hoping to breathe new life into this venerable franchise, David Gordon Green and Blumhouse embarked on The Exorcist: Believer as the start of a trilogy, much like the successful rebooted Halloween series. Universal Pictures reportedly paid a whopping $400 million for the rights to the franchise, and they have the liberty to explore avenues beyond traditional cinema, which may become a necessity given the critical and commercial reception of The Exorcist: Believer. The sequel, titled The Exorcist: Deceiver, is already slated for a 2025 release.
In the dark corridors of horror cinema, The Exorcist franchise faces an uphill battle, as it attempts to exorcise itself from the formidable specter of its groundbreaking original. Stay tuned for more updates on this spine-tingling saga, brought to you by FilmSweep.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about horror franchise challenges
Q: How well has “The Exorcist: Believer” performed at the global box office?
A: “The Exorcist: Believer” is the second-highest-grossing installment in the franchise, earning nearly $84.9 million globally.
Q: What was the opening weekend’s performance of “The Exorcist: Believer”?
A: The film claimed the top spot at the box office during its opening weekend, grossing $26 million domestically.
Q: How has “The Exorcist: Believer” been received by critics and fans?
A: The film has received negative reviews, and it has struggled to win over critics and fans, facing a significant drop in attendance after its initial release.
Q: What impact did Taylor Swift’s concert film have on “The Exorcist: Believer”?
A: Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” posed a formidable challenge, leading to a 58% drop in “The Exorcist: Believer’s” domestic box office performance.
Q: What is the historical significance of the original “Exorcist” film?
A: The original “Exorcist” is a landmark in horror cinema, grossing $440 million worldwide, earning ten Oscar nominations, and becoming the first horror film to receive a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.
Q: What are the plans for the Exorcist franchise following “The Exorcist: Believer”?
A: A sequel titled “The Exorcist: Deceiver” is already scheduled for release in 2025 as part of a new trilogy, and Universal Pictures may explore additional ways to monetize the franchise.