‘The Exorcist: Believer’ Scares Up Box Office Victory Despite Poor Reviews

The Exorcist Believer (Credit: Universal)

The Exorcist: Believer topped the box this weekend with an estimated $27.2 million debut — nearly matching its $30 million budget.

The Blumhouse and Universal reboot of William Friedkin’s 1973 horror classic played in 3,663 locations across the U.S. and Canada, for a per theater average of $7,426, according to Comscore.

The horror thriller from director David Gordon Green follows two girls who disappear into the woods and return three days later with no memory of what happened, unleashing a terrifying chain of events.

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The cast includes Lidya Jewett, Olivia Marcum, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Jennifer Nettles, along with Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn from the original 1973 film.

The reboot received terrible reviews from critics and has a disappointing 23 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences also gave it low marks — with a “C” CinemaScore.

According to the New York Times, Universal paid a staggering $400 million for the rights to the franchise, with plans to do a trilogy. But after this weekend’s $27.2 million domestic debut, recovering the cost to acquire the rights will be challenging.

Elsewhere at the box office, last week’s leader PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie slipped to second place with $11.7 million.

Saw X was third with $8.1 million Friday through Sunday.

The Creator was fourth with $6 million in its second weekend, and The Blind rounded out the top five with $3.1 million.