Hail Satan: The Witch Beats Risen in Thursday Night Previews

Maybe I’m just easily amused, but I find it quite hilarious that The Witch (review) and biblical epic Risen are playing side-by-side in theaters this weekend. I think you probably know which one we’re rooting for, and we’re happy to see that the power of Satan is compelling theater-goers to choose horror. To celebrate, we have a new clip from the film to share.

Variety reports that The Witch, distributed by A24, scared up $630,000 on Thursday night, while Sony’s religious drama only brought in around $425,000. What’s most impressive and exciting about the news is that The Witch opened in 1,800 domestic locations, while Risen hit 2,329 screens.

When all is said and done, it’s very possible that The Witch could make upwards of $10 million this weekend, on a budget of just $1 million. That said, the studio insists that it would be content with an opening in the $3 million to $4 million range.


Directed and written by Robert Eggers, The Witch stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, and Lucas Dawson.

To learn more, visit the official The Witch website, “like” The Witch on Facebook, and follow The Witch on Twitter. Be sure to use #TheWitchMovie and @TheWitchMovie in your posts!

Set in New England circa 1630, The Witch follows a farmer who get cast out of his Colonial plantation and is forced to move his family to a remote plot of land on the edge of an ominous forest rumored to be controlled by witches. Almost immediately, strange and unsettling things begin to happen–the animals turn violent, the crops fail, and one of the children disappears, only to return seemingly possessed by an evil spirit.  As suspicion and paranoia mount, everyone begins to point the finger at teenage daughter Thomasin. They accuse her of witchcraft, which she adamantly denies… but as circumstances become more and more treacherous, each family member’s faith, loyalty, and love will be tested in shocking and unforgettable ways.

Writer/director Robert Eggers’ debut feature, which premiered to great acclaim at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival (and won the Best Director Prize in the U.S. Narrative Competition), painstakingly recreates a God-fearing New England decades before the 1692 Salem witch trials, in which religious convictions and pagan folklore famously clashed. Told through the eyes of the adolescent Thomasin — in a star-making turn by newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy — and supported by mesmerizing camera work and a powerful musical score, The Witch is a chilling and groundbreaking new take on the genre. 

The Witch

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John Squires

I have a beard. And three cats.

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