Common discovered itself in purgatory over the Oct. 6-8 weekend with the discharge of The Exorcist: Believer, which is envisioned as a trilogy kickoff reboot of the enduring horror title.
Whereas Believer carried out solidly on the field workplace, recouping its manufacturing price, the title drew crucial hellfire from reviewers and followers, placing the franchise’s inventive plan right into a tailspin.
The Blumhouse-produced Believer is the primary offspring from the studio’s 2021 buy of the enduring horror franchise’s rights. The theatrical rights (for which Common beat out rival bids) for 3 films got here with the heaven-high price ticket of $400 million, but additionally included the movies’ streaming rights for Peacock, and theme park extensions like this month’s Exorcist: Believer maze at Common’s Halloween Horror Nights. (Look out, it’s a demonic film critic!) So it’s not as if every movie must make no less than $133 million by itself.
The deal made sense to the studio, sources say, on condition that it might as soon as once more pair Blumhouse and Halloween director David Gordon Inexperienced on one other iconic franchise. Nonetheless, producer Jason Blum dubbed Believer “the riskiest film I’ve ever made” due to its price. The brand new movie options Ellen Burstyn returning to co-star in an Exorcist movie for the primary time since William Friedkin’s 1973 unique.
Believer was monitoring to drag down $30 million to $35 million, however that quantity slipped to $26.5 million when ultimate numbers have been tallied. Abroad, Believer opened to $17.6 million from its first 52 markets for a comfortable world begin of $44.2 million.
“Even when it had opened to $35 million — as monitoring from final week recommended — that might have been a disappointment,” says David Herrin, founding father of monitoring and analysis agency The Quorum. “Bringing again beloved IP doesn’t imply you’ll match the heights of those statistical anomalies [like Blumhouse’s 2018 Halloween reboot, which opened to a stunning $76.2 million]. You’re setting your self up for failure.”
Further headwinds included a last-minute date change to get in entrance of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour live performance movie, the SAG-AFTRA strike limiting expertise advertising and marketing, and a crowded horror market with The Nun II and Noticed X amongst Believer‘s rivals. The following few weeks are unclear for Believer, as horror films can usually hold rolling as Halloween approaches, however given the crucial/viewer response — and Swifties invading cinemas this week to a projected opening of greater than $100 million — Believer may get excised from screens sooner than normal.
For now, we’re instructed Common stays firmly possessed by its new IP — two extra Exorcist movies will nonetheless be made. However sources say Believer’s reception will nearly actually demand a point of inventive re-think for the following two movies. The primary sequel is meant to be referred to as Deceiver, which was introduced for 2025 and has a accomplished script. Director Inexperienced was likewise anticipated to return, however he not too long ago expressed some doubt about his participation (“My intention is simply to start out making issues, and as these plans come collectively, if I discover myself in that [The Exorcist: Deceiver] director’s chair, I’d be thrilled,” Inexperienced instructed THR. “However proper now, I’m navigating it from a narrative perspective and taking a look at my realities of life as I pivot.”)
There may be some near-term daylight on the horizon for Common and Blumhouse, nonetheless. Their subsequent horror title, the video game-inspired, Chuck E. Cheese nightmare gasoline 5 Nights at Freddy’s (trailer under) is monitoring to open robust Oct. 27 regardless of it being a day-and-date launch with Peacock.
Pamela McClintock contributed to this report.