Prey For The Devil Fails To Scare Up Big Business At The Box Office As Black Adam Reigns Supreme

Happy Halloween, fellow box office aficionados. Famously, Halloween weekend has not been a huge one for the movie business, but a horror movie or two can slip in and make some solid dough. This past weekend, Lionsgate tried to slip the exorcism flick "Prey for the Devil" through the cracks as the spooky season offering. It didn't exactly pan out, as Warner Bros.' superhero movie "Black Adam" easily topped the charts again in its second weekend. Though, even that movie's earnings up to this point leaves room for discussion. Let's dig into the numbers, shall we?

"Black Adam" reigned supreme in the #1 spot for the second week in a row domestically, taking in $27.7 million, according to Box Office Mojo. That represents a pretty steep 58.7% drop from week-to-week, which is a whole lot more than Warner Bros. would have liked for the long-awaited Dwayne Johnson DC Comics adaptation. It was rather expensive, with a reported $190 million price tag (before marketing), meaning it probably needs to make at least $500 million globally to turn a profit in the end.

Currently, director Jaume Collet-Serra's latest has earned $111 million domestic and $139 million internationally for a $250 million total. Much like Bon Jovi, we're halfway there. The bigger issue, though, is the fact that theaters were waiting for this movie after weeks of very few hits. Unfortunately, this isn't playing like "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" ($955 million) or "Thor: Love and Thunder" ($760 million). We'll see how it legs out ahead of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" on November 11, which will steal every ounce of thunder.

Prey for the Devil settles for third

Meanwhile, the weekend's big new release had to settle for third place, as Lionsgate's "Prey for the Devil" made a mere $7 million on its opening weekend. The rom-com "Ticket to Paradise" held strong, staying in the number two spot with $10 million. The thing is, it felt like marketing for this one kicked in very late, which never helps. The rough 19% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes wasn't doing it any favors either. Not to mention that "Smile," "Halloween Ends," and "Terrifier 2" are still firmly in the top 10 right now, making for a lot of competition in the horror space. Not to mention "Barbarian" still being in the top 20 and conveniently on HBO Max, as of a few days ago.

The most concerning thing about this is that Lionsgate has had a pretty rough 2022 thus far. "Moonfall" is arguably one of the biggest bombs ever, "Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" underperformed, with the likes of "Fall" and "Clerks III" doing well, but only relative to their minimal investment. It's a shame, as Lionsgate, I've argued, can and should be the face of mid-budget cinema in modern Hollywood. Alas, right now, it's a lot of direct-to-video stuff mixed with big bets that don't pay off.

Fortunately, director Daniel Stamm's "Prey for the Devil" probably didn't cost a fortune to make (though budget figures aren't currently available) and, if it can get even a little help from overseas, it might be able to make its money back on VOD. A hit? God now, but maybe not a money loser, when all's said and done. You can check out the full list of the top 10 movies this past weekend below.

Top 10 movies at the box office October 28 – 30, 2022:

  1. "Black Adam" – $27.7 million

  2. "Ticket to Paradise" – $10 million

  3. "Prey for the Devil" – $7 million

  4. "Smile" – $5 million

  5. "Halloween Ends" – $3.8 million

  6. "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile" – $2.82 million

  7. "Till" – $2.81 million

  8. "Terrifier 2" – $1.8 million

  9. "The Woman King" – $1.1 million

  10. "Tar" – $1 million