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Woke 'Exorcist' reboot flops, franchise could lose studio hundreds of millions
Image via Jeremy Jahns / YouTube (screenshot)

Woke 'Exorcist' reboot flops, franchise could lose studio hundreds of millions

The latest take on the "Exorcist" franchise could end up costing its studio hundreds of millions of dollars if subsequent movies don't turn a larger profit after the first iteration failed to land big numbers at the box office.

“The Exorcist: Believer” opened to a disappointing $27 million in its opening weekend, Hollywood in Toto reported, with Deadline noting that not even the devil himself could have helped the movie attract audiences.

Audiences on Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie just 58%, while critics gave it an abysmal 23%.

"A lack of new ideas — and scares — make this an inauspicious start to a planned new trilogy," a synopsis read. As well, CinemaScore gave the movie just a "C" grade.

"The editing in this movie was obnoxious," said critic Jeremy Jahns, noting that the "forgettable film" threw loud noises at the audience "that just assault your senses."

The film focused on two different families but essentially ignored one, making it feel "like two different movies," Jahns added.

While $27 million would normally be nothing to scoff at, the reboot comes on the heels of Universal studios buying the rights to the "Exorcist" intellectual property for $400 million in 2021.

With a plan for three movies, the first film had a modest budget of $30 million. However, the expectation that the movie would blow previous iterations out of the water certainly could not have been based on the performances of previous films.

No "Exorcist" sequel has performed like the original, which brought in over $230 million domestically. “Exorcist II: The Heretic” made $30 million; “The Exorcist III” garnered $26 million; and “Exorcist: The Beginning” took in $41 million.

"Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist” made a shocking $251,495 in theaters off its $30 million budget in 2005.

The studio did its due diligence seemingly in every way, aside from its social justice-inspired diversity angle. It hired producer Jason Blum, who successfully produced horror films like "Get Out" and "M3GAN," and David Gordon Green, who recently directed new installments of the "Halloween" franchise. The three remakes garnered nearly $500 million in total revenue.

The "Exorcist" franchise isn't as simple as needing to make $133 million per film to justify its purchase, however, as the deal was reported to take talent fees, buyouts, back ends, and producer fees into account.

The plan is allegedly to leverage the intellectual property across theme parks and different branding opportunities.

However, on its surface, the new film is yet another flop in the world of woke Hollywood remakes.

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