Date: 26th September 2000

The Exorcist Scares Up A Bundle

Had the reissue of Warner Bros.' The Exorcist been given a wider release over the weekend, it would have trounced its competition, final box-office figures suggested Monday.

Released on only 664 screens, the 1973 horror classic took in $8.2 million, just $300,000 less than the top grosser, Sony's Urban Legends: Final Cut, which arrived on 2,539 screens. That works out to $12,286 per site for Exorcist and $3,350 per site for Legends. Warner's said it plans to roll out The Exorcist in 400 more theaters next Friday and another 400 on the Friday after that (the 13th).

DreamWorks, which is also doing a tiered rollout of Almost Famous, reaped success with that strategy, as the movie grossed $6.9 million on only 1,193 screens, an average of $5,806 per screen. DreamWorks says it plans to add another 500 screens for Famous next weekend.

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):

1. Urban Legends: Final Cut, Sony, $8,505,513, (New); 2. The Exorcist, Warner Bros., $8,157,666, ($8,431,437--with limited release on Wednesday); 3. Almost Famous, DreamWorks, $6,926,467, ($10,147,759); 4. Bring It On, Universal, $4,275,380, ($56,000,070); 5. The Watcher, Universal, $3,665,640, ($22,758,200); 6. Bait, Warner Bros., $3,365,674, ($10,576,895); 7. Nurse Betty, USA, $3,270,176, ($18,025,661); 8. What Lies Beneath, DreamWorks, $2,192,119, ($148,433,841); 9. Space Cowboys, Warner Bros., $2,156,506, ($85,072,147); 10. Woman On Top, Fox Searchlight, $2,008,191, (New).

Source: Studio Briefing