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Taylor Swift scares the new Exorcist movie off its release date

The Exorcist: Believer moves up one week to Oct. 6

Two possessed, scarred and bruised children sit back to back on the floor and glare at the camera above them in The Exorcist: Believer Image: Universal Studios
Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

The demon Pazuzu cowers in fear from nothing — except Swifties. Horror movie impresario Jason Blum has said The Exorcist: Believer, David Gordon Green’s reboot of the venerable horror franchise, is moving its release date forward by a week to Oct. 6 after the surprise announcement that Taylor Swift would release an Eras Tour concert movie on Oct. 13, Believer’s original release date.

“Look what you made me do,” Blum tweeted, referencing the lead single from Swift’s Reputation album. “#TaylorWins,” he added.

Swift’s late announcement that Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour would claim the date flies in the face of Hollywood’s carefully managed release schedule, never mind the fact that a Friday the 13th release date, in October of all months, should by rights belong to a horror movie.

But the scale of Swift’s fame and the passion of her fanbase bow to no one. Deadline reported that The Eras Tour movie, which is exclusive to AMC theaters in North America, racked up a huge $10 million in ticket presales within hours of its announcement — figures that one stunned distribution executive told Deadline equated to the launch of a Marvel movie. The Eras Tour itself has been a record-breaking sellout.

Small wonder that Blum’s production company Blumhouse, and its distribution partner Universal, decided to get out of the way. The Exorcist: Believer, which sees Green take on another horror franchise renovation job after his successful run of Halloween movies, doesn’t face much competition on Oct. 6, beyond the GameStop meme stock movie Dumb Money.

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