That’s a real problem for Universal given that the studio made a $400 million commitment for the aforementioned “Exorcist” trilogy that they are still on the hook for. In 2021, Universal made a mammoth deal with Morgan Creek Entertainment for the rights to make not one but three new movies in this franchise. Given that Green was the man behind the recent blockbuster “Halloween” trilogy, that may have seemed like a good idea at the time. But 2018’s “Halloween” wasn’t originally meant to be the start of a trilogy.
“Halloween Kills” and “Halloween Ends” only came about after the first installment became the highest-grossing slasher film in history ($255.4 million worldwide/$10 million budget). The cart was not put before the horse in that situation. “Halloween Kills” made $130.8 million worldwide, while “Halloween Ends” finished with $105.3 million. Both sequels also debuted on Peacock the same day they hit theaters, which surely impacted the box office. Either way, all three movies were big successes relative to their budgets. Universal, it seems, may have been a bit too bullish when it came to their hopes of repeating that success with “The Exorcist” franchise.
Sadly, it sounds like Universal and Blumhouse can’t just back out of the deal if they get cold feet now. “Universal had to go buy the rights from another company, Morgan Creek Entertainment, and it had to promise to make a whole trilogy. Total price tag for the deal, including the movie budgets: $400 million,” Fortune recently reported before adding, “Universal are on the hook for nine figures. And if the movie tanks, they still have to make two more.” Those sequels now loom very large. The only good news is that $400 million figure apparently includes the budgets for the films. Even so, the pressure is now on when it comes to 2025’s “The Exorcist: Deceiver.”