It, the big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about a child-killing clown, shattered US box-office records over the weekend, earning $117.2m from 4,103 locations, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
Not only is It now the largest ever opening for a horror movie and the largest September opening of all time, the film more than doubled the earnings of the previous record holders. Before this weekend, Paranormal Activity 3 had the biggest horror opening with $52.6m from 2011, and the highest September debut was Hotel Transylvania 2’s $48.5m in 2015.
“We blew past everyone’s most optimistic and aggressive projections and I think there might be room for us to grow this weekend even still,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros, the studio behind the film.
Goldstein said he was conservative with Sunday projections due to the confounding factors of the film’s R-rating, the popularity of late-night showings, the beginning of the American football season and Hurricane Irma. It’s high totals are more astounding, considering that the film, directed by Andy Muschietti, cost only $35m to produce.
The film’s success was helped by a lack of other new releases over the weekend, save for the Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy Home Again, which came in a very distant second with $9m. In third place was The Hitman’s Bodyguard, with $4.9m, Annabelle: Creation took fourth with $4 million, and Wind River rounded out the top five with $3.2 million.
The success of It also comes after an underperforming summer moviegoing season that left the year to date box office down 6.5% from last year, and prompted talk of an industry in crisis. Now, with It factored in, the year is down only 5.5%.
“There has been a lot written about the demise of the box office. This seems to come up every few years and it’s all content driven. If there are good movies out there, the public will embrace them and be excited to see them. If we come up with movies they are not interested in, they stay away,” Goldstein said. “This is a movie they wanted to see.”
Starring Bill Skårsgard as the homicidal clown Pennywise, It is the first of a two-part series. The second is slated to come out in 2019.
Source: The Guardian