The Exorcist: Believer is out this weekend, and the projected opening weekend numbers look pretty good, with Deadline reporting roughly $28 million. This is certainly in the realm of success for R-rated horror film opening weekend, but it seems unlikely that it will translate to overall success for the franchise. Universal acquired the franchise for somewhere in the ballpark of $400 million, which means the planned trilogy of Exorcist films is going to have to earn at least $133 million each to break even (via Indiewire).
The Exorcist: Believer is the first of a trilogy, and given what Universal spent for the rights to the franchise, it will be very hard for the studio to turn a profit.
Universal/Blumhouse/Morgan Creek’s The Exorcist: Believer would not only need a strong opening weekend but would also need to see consistently good box office weekends afterward. Typically, a film has to have at least some good word of mouth to have a successful box office run, and reviews for the film have been mixed at best, with plenty of negative reviews in that mix. It seems highly unlikely that the reviews alone are going to lift this film up.
The Exorcist: Believer is a direct sequel to the critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning William Friedkin 1973 original, which followed a mother trying to free her young daughter from demonic possession with the help of two priests. Reception to The Exorcist is a far cry from the reception this sequel is getting, as that film was the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all time until It unseated it. It also was the first horror film to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award.
The Exorcist: Believer is a direct sequel to the critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning William Friedkin 1973 original…
With the way things are going, it doesn’t seem like The Exorcist: Believer will be coming anywhere close to the same box office numbers, even adjusted for inflation. And it almost certainly won’t be getting nominated for the Best Picture award at the Oscars this year. Perhaps it could get a second life on streaming when Universal moves the film to its Peacock streaming platform, but that won’t make up for poor box office performance.
Whether or not The Exorcist: Believer ends up being a box office success, we can still expect to see the follow-up sequel, The Exorcist: Deceiver, which is scheduled to be released on April 18, 2025.
The Exorcist: Believer follows a father (Leslie Odom, Jr.) who seeks out the help of Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) when his daughter and her friend become possessed. The film also stars Ann Dowd, Jennifer Nettles, Norbert Leo Butz, Lidya Jewett, and Olivia Marcum, with Linda Blair also returning to reprise her role as Regan MacNeil alongside Burstyn’s return as Chris. David Gordon Green directs and co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Sattler from a story by Scott Teems, Danny McBride, and Green.
Whether or not The Exorcist: Believer ends up being a box office success, we can still expect to see the follow-up sequel, The Exorcist: Deceiver, which is scheduled to be released on April 18, 2025. Interestingly, both the second and third films of the trilogy have the potential to go straight to the Peacock streaming service, though this certainly seems like it would be against the best interests of the studios if they want to recoup the $400 million. Though, it will likely depend on the box office performance of Believer to determine that.
While The Exorcist: Believer might come up just short of the projected $30 million it was supposed to make on opening weekend, this was really its best chance to take over the box office. The box office has been in a bit of a slump recently, but that will radically change next weekend when Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour hits theaters. More bad news for the Exorcist franchise, but there was no way it was going to beat out the Swifties.