‘The Exorcist: Believer’ Moves Up One Week to Avoid Taylor Swift Showdown

Taylor Swift has scared off The Exorcist.

The Exorcist: Believer is arriving a week earlier than expected, with Universal shifting the film’s release up to Oct. 6.

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The move came hours after Taylor Swift announced that a concert film from her Eras tour would arrive in theaters on Oct. 13. The Exorcist was initially set to bow that same day, but quickly relocated because of the overlap between Swift fans and the audience for the horror sequel (namely, younger females).

By Thursday afternoon, seat maps at numerous AMC locations, including in Los Angeles and New York, showed numerous nearly full seat maps for the Swift concert pic over the Oct. 13-15 weekend.

“Look what you made me do. The Exorcist: Believer moves to 10/6/23,” producer Jason Blum wrote on X Thursday, along with the hashtag #TaylorWins.

AMC Theatres, the country’s largest theater circuit, cut a deal with Swift’s team to directly distribute the concert pic as cinema owners scramble to make up for changes to the fall release calendar amid the dual writers and actors strikes. (AMC has teamed with indie distributor Variance to book the film in its locations along with in rival circuits, including Regal and Cinemark). The Eras tour concert pic is slotted to play for several weekends.

Exorcist’s new Oct. 6 date was previously occupied by Marvel feature Kraven the Hunter, but in late July, Sony moved the film back 10 months amid the SAG-AFTRA strike, which would have prevented stars such as Aaron Taylor-Johnson from promoting it.

While Swift is a member of SAG-AFTRA, the concert pic reportedly received a waiver to proceed.

The entrance of the Eras tour concert pic is a wild card for every October release, including Apple and Paramount’s Martin Scorsese-directed Killers of the Flower Moon, which opens in theaters Oct. 20. The two films arguably go after different audiences, but each will vie for as many showtimes as possible (Killers has a lock on Imax screens, however).

Ellen Burstyn returns to star in The Exorcist: Believer, with other stars including Leslie Odom Jr. and Ann Dowd. The late William Friedkin directed the original The Exorcist, which focused on a 12-year-old girl possessed by a mysterious entity.

In the sequel, Odom plays Victor Fielding, a man whose pregnant wife died 12 years earlier in a Haitian earthquake. After his daughter Angela (Lidya Jewett) and her friend Katherine (Olivia Marcum) disappear in the woods for three days with no memory of what happened, a chain of events forces Victor to confront an unknown evil. Halloween trilogy director David Gordon Green is behind the new film, the first in a planned trilogy of Exorcist features. The second installment, The Exorcist: Deceiver, is set for April 18, 2025.

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