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LOS ANGELES (AP) — “The Exorcist: Believer” spun heads and drove off all foes at the box office.

Facing competition from no major new releases, the latest resurrection of the demonic franchise brought in $27.2 million in North America in its opening weekend for Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions, according to studio estimates Sunday.

That was more than the weekend take of the next three films combined. But while it nearly earned back its reported budget of $30 million in just a few days, the take for “The Exorcist: Believer” was underwhelming after the two companies paid $400 million in 2021 for the rights to a new trilogy.

Last week’s top film, “ Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” was a distant second, with $11.8 million, and has earned $38.9 million after two weekends for Paramount Pictures. Another horror sequel, “Saw X,” was third for Lionsgate Films, with $8.2 million, and has brought in $32.6 million after two weekends.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Signage is displayed during a special influencer screening of "The Exorcist: Believer" hosted by Tyga at AMC CityWalk on October 04, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Universal Pictures)
Signage is displayed during a special influencer screening of “The Exorcist: Believer” hosted by Tyga at AMC CityWalk on October 04, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Universal Pictures)

The new “Exorcist” was released just shy of 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 legacy sequel specialist after helming a trilogy of “Halloween” films, “The Exorcist: Believer” stars “Hamilton” actor Leslie Odom Jr., with Lidya Jewett as his 13-year-old daughter.

The film got poor reviews — managing a critics score of just 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. Jake Coyle of The Associated Press was more charitable than most in his review, giving it two stars out of four for its lead performances and sure-handed direction but saying it “never manages anything like the deep terror of the original.”

The weekend finally saw “Barbie” fall from the box office top 10 for the first time since its July 21 release, after well over $600 million in domestic earnings and more than $1.3 billion globally.

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

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

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

3. “Saw X,” $8.2 million.

4. “The Creator,” $6.1 million.

5. “The Blind,” $3.1 million.

6. “A Haunting In Venice,” $2.6 million.

7. “The Nun II,” $2.1 million.

8. “Dumb Money,” $1.8 million.

10. “Hocus Pocus” (1993 rerelease), $1.5 million.