‘The Possession of Hannah Grace’ Finds No Salvation at Weekend Box Office

by Nick Banks

The rite of exorcism is a procedure that can be dangerous for both the possessed and the exorcist.  Luckily, no one that saw The Possession of Hannah Grace this weekend faced similar challenges, aside from having $12 vanish from their wallets from a film that grossed $6.5 million dollars at the box office, and faced even harsher rebukes from audiences than even Father Merrin could muster.

Screen Gems’ (Sony Pictures) Hannah Grace entered a crowded marketplace this weekend, one that is traditionally off-season for horror films.  In spite of this, the film did perform better than expected with $635,000 in previews for late Thursday screenings, which tipped off studio executives that not all was lost.  This modest financial success speaks to the current popularity of supernatural films such as The Conjuring franchise and a lack of competition from similar movies, rather than the merits of the production.  The latest possession film should be able to turn a slight profit, once marketing costs are subtracted, and international receipts are calculated.

Where the film really suffered was in the eyes of the critics and fans, as it certainly failed to “possess” moviegoers.  Hannah Grace currently sits at a dismal 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an extremely low C- Cinemascore (which is generated by polling movie goers as they exit the theater on opening day, and rarely drops under a “B”).  Shay Mitchell of Pretty Little Liars certainly helped attract young adult audiences to the film, but most fans and critics found the film to be derivative or downright silly.  With more and more blockbusters headed to local theaters in the month of December, Hannah Grace will most likely exit theaters long before Krampus visits any rascals this holiday season.

Horror fans not interested in any of December’s big releases such as James Wan’s Aquaman, Mary Poppins Returns, or the latest Transformers film, Bumblebee, will have to wait until January for their fright fix when Eli, Escape Room, Glass, and Serenity hit theaters.  Be sure to watch out for our official Winter Horror Movie Preview 2019, which will be released right before New Year’s.

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