October 8, 2023

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 10.8.2023


OPENINGS:  THE EXORCIST: BELIEVER (Blumhouse/Morgan Creek/Universal) was at the low end of expectations with $27.2M, and it was also below projections internationally with $17.9M in 52 markets.  It’s hard to tell just what this means in terms of the bottom line, because while a $125M worldwide total wouldn’t look terrible against $30M in production costs (roughly $90M including global marketing), that reported budget number doesn’t seem to include any allocation of the mammoth $400M rights fee the studios paid for the Exorcist franchise.  Even if there’s a set of books that eventually shows Believer reaching breakeven or better, this doesn’t bode well for the returns on the rights in general.

A Halloween-season re-release of the original HOCUS POCUS (Disney) brought in $1.5M.

Even for low-budget horror, the $200K launch of WHEN EVIL LURKS (IFC) at 659 theaters–equating to a $300 weekend per-theater average–was awful.

HOLDOVERS:  With the family market nearly to itself, PAW PATROL THE MIGHTY MOVIE (Nickelodeon/Paramount) dipped 48% from last week’s premiere to $11.8M, and might reach $75M in the US on moderate costs. Overseas, it has $48.2M after a $14M weekend in 57 territories.

Considering the direct competition from Exorcist: Believer, SAW X (Lionsgate), held nicely, down 56% to $8.2M from last week’s opening, and on its way to around $55M in the US on low costs.  The overseas total thus far is $11.3M.

THE CREATOR (20th/Disney) is the most expensive film in the Top 10, with $150M+ in production/marketing costs, so its 57% drop to $6.1M is bad news.  It may not even reach $45M in the US, and the international total is $36.9M after a $10.8M weekend in 50 markets.

THE BLIND (Fathom) increased its theater count by about 30%, and the weekend result was up 13% to $4M, putting it on track for $25M in the US on extremely low costs.  There hasn’t been any overseas distribution thus far.

A HAUNTING IN VENICE (20th/Disney) slipped 25% to $2.7M in its 4th weekend, and should end up slightly below Death On the Nile‘s $45.6M US total.  It has $67M internationally after a $4.4M weekend in 52 territories, unlikely to reach Nile‘s $91.7M.

Horror continued to show its strength with THE NUN II (New Line/Warners, also on VOD), down 46% to $2.7M in its 5th weekend, as it heads toward a $90M US total, down about 25% from its predecessor.  The overseas total is $167.6M after a $6.7M weekend in 75 markets, likely to be similarly down from The Nun‘s $248.6M total.

Although DUMB MONEY (Black Bear/Columbia/Sony) held well with a 35% drop, the $2.2M weekend total keeps it on a trajectory for less than $20M in the US.  It has $1.4M in limited international release.

THE EQUALIZER 3 (Columbia/Sony, also on VOD) lost 32% to $1.8M, and with a $95M US total will be a bit below its predecessors.  The international total is $78.2M after a $4M weekend in 50 markets.

THE EXPEND4BLES (Lionsgate) fell 59% to $1M, unlikely to hit $20M in the US (roughly half of the last installment).  The current overseas total is $28.4M from a handful of territories.

LIMITED RELEASE:  DICKS: THE MUSICAL (A24) launched at 7 NY/LA theaters with an OK $32K weekend per-theater average (as a comparison, Bottoms averaged $46K when it opened at 10).  The weekend’s other arrivals started more widely and paid the per-theater price:  SHE CAME TO ME (Vertical) with a $1K average at 355, THE ROYAL HOTEL (Neon) with a $1300 average at 267, and the short subject (padded out with other shorts) STRANGE WAY OF LIFE (Sony Classics) with a $700 average at 276.  CAT PERSON (Rialto) averaged $2500 at 4.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Every wide release previously scheduled for October 13 cleared off the calendar for TAYLOR SWIFT: THE ERAS TOUR (AMC), which is expected to obliterate records for concert movies when it arrives.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."