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Believer has a $27.2 million opening

LOS ANGELES — “The Exorcist: Believer” outperformed all its rivals at the box office, but its numbers weren’t exactly dazzling.

The latest revival of the demonic franchise, which isn’t competing with a major new movie, earned Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions $27.2 million in North America on its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

This was more than the weekend shoots for the next three films combined. But despite nearly making back its reported $30 million budget in just a few days, “The Exorcist: Believer”‘s performance was underwhelming after two companies paid $400 million in 2021 for the rights to a new trilogy.

Last week’s most-watched movie, “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” came in a distant second with $11.8 million, grossing $38.9 million for Paramount Pictures after two weekends. Another horror sequel, “Saw X,” came in third for Lionsgate Films with $8.2 million and grossed $32.6 million after two weekends.

Horror movies made up four of the top 10 and could see some steady numbers as Halloween approaches.

“Audience demand for the horror genre seems never-ending,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “The community theater experience was designed specifically for this.”

The new “Exorcist” was released just in time for 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 veteran of sequels after helming a trilogy of “Halloween” films, “The Exorcist: Believer” stars “Hamilton” actor Leslie Odom Jr. and his 13-year-old daughter Lydia Jewett. .

The film received poor reviews; It received a critic score of just 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. Jake Coyle of the Associated Press was more charitable than most in his review; He gave it two stars out of four for its lead performances and assured direction, but said it “never achieves anything like the profound terror of the original.”

The release date for “The Exorcist” has been moved up a week to avoid competing with the juggernaut of concert movie “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” next weekend.

“I actually think they made a good decision,” Dergarabedian said. “All the oxygen in the room will be sucked out.”

The Swifties storm in theaters could bring a $100 million weekend and set many new precedents for concert movies.

“This is beyond anything we’ve ever seen before,” Dergarabedian said.

The weekend saw “Barbie” fall out of the top 10 at the box office for the first time since its July 21 release; after earning over $600 million domestically and $1.3 billion worldwide.

Estimated ticket sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters from Friday through Sunday, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be announced on Monday.

1. “The Devil: The Believer,” $27.2 million.

2. “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” $11.8 million.

3. “I Saw X,” $8.2 million.

4. “The Creator,” $6.1 million.

5. “Blind” $3.1 million.

6. “A Haunted in Venice,” $2.6 million.

7. “Sister II,” $2.1 million.

8. “Dumb Money,” $1.8 million.

10. “Hocus Pocus” (re-released 1993), $1.5 million.

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