‘It’ Eyes Huge $50 Million-Plus Opening in Early Box Office Tracking

It Movie Stephen King
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

It” will float to the top of the box office heap when it hits theaters next month.

Initial tracking suggests that the Stephen King adaptation is on pace to open to more than $50 million when it premieres in the U.S. on Sept. 8, 2017. That’s a massive number, one that’s usually reserved for summer debuts or holiday launches. Plus, “It” carries an R-rating, with its director Andrés Muschietti telling Variety last month that the film doesn’t skimp on the gore.

“I’m so excited that it’s rated R,” he said. “I don’t feel that we held back in any aspect.”

“It” is one of King’s most beloved books, and anticipation has been high for the movie version. The initial trailer attracted 197 million views in its first 24 hours of release.


Andres Muschietti It

‘It’ Director on Tackling Two R-Rated Movies and Why He Picked Bill Skarsgard for Pennywise

Sources close to the studio caution that the $50 million-plus number could be inflated, noting that the biggest September opening of all time was “Hotel Transylvania 2’s” $48 million debut, and this film carries an R-rating. They also note that even well-known horror franchises such as “Annabelle” failed to crack the $40 million mark in their opening weekends. Those sources believe an opening in the $40 million-range is more likely. Still, all signs are that “It” will be a major hit for the studio and should kick off the fall moviegoing season on a high note.

“It’s” likely success is also good news for the theatrical movie business. The summer box office has been battered by a series of film flops such as “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” “Baywatch,” and “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Ticket sales are down more than 4% for the year.

Warner Bros. and New Line are backing the film, which centers on a group of kids who face off with a terrifying monster who eats children and assumes the guise of a clown named Pennywise. The studio is already working on a sequel that will follow the children after they become adults.

“It” was the basis for an ABC mini-series that aired in 1990. It’s taken years to develop a big-screen version — at one point “True Detective’s” Cary Fukunaga had been enlisted to direct, but he parted ways with the studio over those pesky “creative differences.”

Muschietti is best known for directing “Mama.” The cast includes Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, with Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, and Sophia Lillis among the group of child actors.

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  1. Brandon says:

    This will benefit hugely from the pop culture “clown” fad that happened last year across the country. Teens will go to see this because they haven’t read the book and they are scared of clowns because they bought into scary clowns all around the country last year… Still, those are the wrong reasons to see this remake, which really doesn’t look any more creative than any other re-make of recent…Hollywood will briefly celebrate a 60 million dollar movie but it won’t erase an otherwise terrible summer or fall. Theaters charge too much and movie creativity is terrible. TV has become the best source of entertainment.

  2. Lou says:

    The book is all about people hating on the gays and minorities…why are the conservatives so displeased?

  3. AJ says:

    Will it be the complete story or only the childrens part? The comments regarding a sequel are confusing. Love SK and his books

  4. Cloris says:

    It appears Hollywood has run out of creative writers – everything is a desperate remake. Despite the previews leaving nothing to the imagination, I’m sure “It” will be profitable – there is simply nothing else for starved movie goers to see at the moment. However, no special effect denomic clown will ever come close to Tim Curry – he is the master.

  5. Sam says:

    Not wasting my time. Hollywood has been putting out nothing but garbage for the last few years.
    Besides, there is ONLY ONE Pennywise: Tim Curry.

  6. Go says:

    It will be awesome to see you eat those words. And you will. Good thing users can’t retroactively erase comments on this site.

  7. Ginger60 says:

    With theater sales dropping like crazy, Hollywood needs to start rethinking the remaking of movies and in this case a tv mini-series. I know of the love people have for King’s early works, I have that same feeling myself. However, so many new and fantastic books out there these days that could be made into movies, and all be new and great! Stop bringing back the past. Doesn’t anyone in Hollywood have any creative bones anymore?

  8. no arachnophobe says:

    Most ridiculous ending to a book/movie ever written. Really enjoyed King’s early work particularly The Shining and The Stand but after wasting a week reading IT I felt cheated by the ending. Seriously??!?!?! A FREAKIN’ SPIDER?!?!?! Save your hard earned money folks.

  9. Abel Garcia says:

    The TV version made me look at Clowns in a whole different light.

  10. Sophie M. says:

    Agree with the many who believe King should’ve kept his mouth shut on politics if he didn’t want to alienate his audience. I started reading his books 40 years ago and bought them all, until he hooked the cute little puppy up to some creepy alien machine …and you know what comes after that. Sorry he couldn’t just stick to haunted hotels.

    • Go says:

      Usually what comes after torturing puppies is membership in the republican party. Good thing King only did it in the name of writing HORROR FANTASY NOVELS, rather than alt-right animal abusers who have to take out their frustrations on whatever or whomever is easily caught off guard or can’t fight back.

      • Sam says:

        Get off the politics! Equating sick animal abuse with conservatives is hateful, delusional ans asinine. Grow up and seek counseling.

  11. RD says:

    Just discovered that, didja? Good boy.

  12. Personally, I like Stephen King’s books because of the way the reader is led to construct an image.

    Maybe his political views are as unrealistic as his stories. No matter as he has no influence to impose his views where they are not welcome.

  13. Mike Vaughn says:

    I certainly hope they change the ending, because after reading over 1000 pages that were quite good, the ending was stupid. Mr. King clearly had no idea how to end it. A shame.

    • FD says:

      Yes, gawd-of-your-parent’s-choice forbid that horror writers actually transgress boundaries! The SHOCK of it!! Stick to your dog-eared Sweet Valley High books, Moe. Leave the vastly popular world of horror novels to the grown-ups.

  14. Mark Smith says:

    I won’t put another penny in Stephen King’s pocket.

    • AmandaJ says:

      I’m sure Stephen King is going to be crushed by losing your couple of bucks, eh? This movie is breaking the box office as we speak.

  15. raymond Sanchez says:

    Been there done that you liberal hack Hate TrumpHateMe

  16. Moviegoer says:

    The hype is so strong that I honestly think IT will open with at least $60 million, possibly bigger, especially if word of mouth is strong.

  17. David B. says:

    Reading the unhinged comments, I see this article must have been linked to on Drudge Report.

    • Poor Dave, his feelings are hurt having to read such unhinged comments, yet for the last 20 years or so, we’ve have that pleasure of reading YOUR Alt-left unhinged comments. Now the tables have turned and you’re whining. We never whined, we defended what we believed in, you just toss insults, cry racism (wolf) and shut down difference of opinion. The Alt-left has been trying to silence the conservative airwaves, a tiny percentage compared to the Huffington Posts, NPR’s, CNN’s and MSNBC’s of the world, and that’s not factoring in the Hollywood elites trying to tell us how to think, trying to shame us simply because we have a difference of opinion. But one thing is for sure, we aren’t living like hypocrites, denying minorities the ability to go to a Charter school for a better education while you and your liberal friends send your children to private schools to avoid the “riff-faff” population you invite here to inflate your voting block!

      • FD says:

        You honestly think the alt-right was silent all those years? You’ve been unhinged and obnoxiously vocal about it for DECADES, dummy. Your hatred and ignorance is HEREDITARY. The left — or “alt-left” as your President Swamp has told you to call it — couldn’t shut you sensitive widdle whiners up if it tried. Never could. So now we just laugh at you whiny, oh-so-put-upon twinks. You think you’re part of some new movement, but you’ve been flapping your gums and threatening people for over a century. Nice attempt to reverse engineer the “treatment of minorities” thing, by the way. Like your side would do ANYTHING to help minorities. Keep catching Donald Swamp’s farts. Careful, you got a little brown splash on your khakis.

  18. I see the insane Mr. King has done another biography/movie on himself! Using a clown and calling the movie “IT” is very life like where he is concerned.

  19. keithradzion says:

    The book is amazing. And sure, I hate when people get political but you have to learn to separate politics from entertainment. I’ll definitely be seeing this.

  20. Tyrone Slothrop says:

    If Stephen King wanted me to see his movie, he should have kept his political opinions to himself.

    • Tyrell Sloptop says:

      He doesn’t want you to see it. It’s only for grown-ups. Your bargain night admission money will not be missed in the least.

  21. shaygirl says:

    they’re doing “IT” again? why? I guess if there’s nothing else playing, otherwise that’s been done.

    • “It” was never done as a movie, only as a TV mini-series as I recall, and that was ~20 years ago. The book was a true thriller and I can only imagine what today’s special effects have in store for us. I’ll be going for sure.

  22. CWK says:

    I won’t be there. He’s an overrated lunatic.

  23. Leon says:

    This isn’t the dark tower. Its actually made well.

  24. Lee Stowell says:

    not the first time Trump has been in a movie

  25. Leon says:

    This movie is going to be amazing! Everything seems right. Tone character likability. I am very happy to hear that its tracking well. Its going to be a fun ride. Well done on this one for letting it be what dark tower could have been. Which is AMAZING!

  26. tngilmer says:

    It may be scary. It may make a lot of money. However, it is not IT. Tim Curry is and always will be IT.

  27. It’ll probably be an other train wreck like the Crapfest, The Dark Tower.

  28. DJ says:

    This movie will be a huge success whether it’s good or not, and whether Trump supporters boycott it or not. It actually makes me feel a little better knowing that I won’t be surrounded by Trump’s dick suckers so feel free to stay at home and work on your costumes :)

  29. Nathan Fluet says:

    Oh see I almost had it right, I guessed that King was running his mouth the other day to build publicity for a new crappy book, but it was for a new crappy movie based on a old crappy book.

  30. Steven Pauly says:

    Funny thing though, the made for tv version didn’t need to be rated R and it still paralyzed a generation or two with fear. There is a reason for that.

  31. The last attempt was a big fat crash of zero!

  32. chelsey says:

    Your wasting your time with Hollywood, its more fake than TV news. That’s why they call it acting.

  33. Jim Farnick says:

    I’ve read every one of Kings e-books and never paid a red cent. And enjoyed some, but not when they got lefty sicko. Since he’s not a capitalist I didn’t want to insult him with money..Win win I’m sure.

    • TSD says:

      It’s like you’re OBSESSED with someone you hate. Such a right-wing ideology. Doesn’t that make you feel kinda empty that you wasted all that time, even for free like a pathetic thief? Sad existence.

  34. Apocalypse Pooh says:

    “I’m so excited that it’s rated R,” he said. “I don’t feel that we held back in any aspect.”

    But he’s already talked about all the changes he had to make.

  35. Mr. Drysdale says:

    Hollywood seems to just turn out crap. I might see one movie a year and it’s generally a family oriented movie if anything. The last good remake was True Grit in my opinion.

  36. Blake Good says:

    God, everyone on this forum is an asshole! More proof that the internet turns everyone into douchebags!

    • Tyrone Slothrop says:

      When you look around and it seems like everyone is an asshole, the asshole is probably you.

      • TSD says:

        Nope, he’s right. The assholes are rampant on Variety’s forums, from both sides. It’s pathetic and sad, but it ALWAYS begins with the right wing loons INSTANTLY politicizing everything because the only thing they hate worse than Hollywood is wasting an opportunity to foam at the mouth about an industry they claim they don’t support and whose products they allegedly don’t watch.

      • I almost spit my coffee out on that one! Great comeback.

    • eddie willers says:

      Your language reveals just what a fine and erudite gentleman you are. What a wondrous Internet post to behold.

    • steve says:

      It’s the Alt-right from DrudgeReport.

      • Hey Steve, just so you know, none of us so-called “Alt-right” go to MSNBC or CNN or the “Alt-left” and say oh must be the HUffposters, or CNN fakers or MSM crowds. LOL BUT anyway, enjoy your movie, he’s obviously of like mind for you, a hater. Funny how the Alt-left crowd always shut down anyone who disagreed with them for the last 20 years or so, and now the tables have turned and you guys got nothing but whining because you’re not used to having someone fight back on your own terms? Not a nice feeling is it? Great time to be Amy Schumer, or Griffin or other Alt-left bully. LOL Time to eat humble pie.

    • David Wooldridge says:

      Not ALL,…just those that seem to point it out.

  37. How many times have the made the same movie? Come up with something new.

    • trouty42 says:

      This was never a theatrical movie. It was neutered and made for television. And it was predictably awful because of the restrictions of the television format. This 2017 adaptation automatically becomes the definitive version whether it becomes successful or not.

  38. Glen Regulas says:

    The blowhard Steven King and his bloated books that would take a several pages describing how a door was opened. Nope not interested in him or his crappy over rated books/movies.

  39. Keith Diggs says:

    So, you really think that millions of people that STEVEN KING called IMBECILES, IDIOTS AND RACISTS are going to flock to his movie? Seriously? They can “eye” whatever they want, I’ll bet you 50M is not in the cards!

    • AmandaJ says:

      It has already doubled that amount in the first 2 days. Just goes to show you crazy, rabid Trump supporters are in the vast minority whether you like it or not. Works for me, less “racist idiot imbeciles” I have to contend with when I go see it in the theater.

    • Cass says:

      If def is, the buzz and tweets are crazy for it. 50 mil and rising.

  40. Gregory008 says:

    Funny how people comment on a movie that has yet to be released.

  41. Anti Globalist says:

    Wishful thinking by the communists that run the movie industry. Your time is over!

  42. Dumpy The Clown says:

    Remake of a mediocre movie based on a mediocre book.

    The only way to make it appealing to the millennials is to increase the blood and gore to ‘R’ rated levels.

    Sad. Sick, twisted, and sad, and no… I won’t be attending.

    It took me three or four sittings to make it through the original-not because clowns creep me out, and not because of the director, producer, or supporting cast. The story is just boring, stupid, and really really hard to follow.

  43. I hope he fails miserably. Just one more Hollywood, left-wing bully with too much money!

    • Phyllis Ann's Husband, who keeps her in her place says:

      Why do you care? Stick with your horrible Christian movies and get back in the kitchen, Phyllis Ann. That dinner’s not gonna cook itself!

  44. jedijones77 says:

    LOL, you think Annabelle is better known than It? WTF? Really stupid for the studios to have saved It and Kingman for September when they could have owned August like Suicide Squad did last year.

    • Apocalypse Pooh says:

      In fairness, Alien:Covenant was scheduled for August, so studios adjusted their own schedule, then Fox moved it earlier (bad test screenings? trying to get in front of the summer season? who knows…) That’s why August looks like a death rattle, and that’s why whoever’s running Fox needs a pay cut.

  45. LokwayshusKeenyah says:

    With all the stories and trailers in recent months, I thought the movie had been released already. In any case, I won’t watch it. Too boring and creepy, like my ex-wife.

  46. Randy says:

    I don’t think so. He’s so anti-Trump now, all I see is him using his money and fame for political purposes I just don’t agree with.

  47. Stash says:

    Sounds like whistling past the box office graveyard to me.

    I’ll believe IT when I $ee it.

  48. ghost says:

    This movie looks good and I hope is is good…….
    BUT if it’s a flopper like so much out of Hollywood nowadays they might as well add the words “s” and “h” in front of the movie title!

  49. Pippy says:

    The opening scene that’s playing in front of ANNABELLE is deeply chilling and kind of mesmerizing. I think Skarsgard as Pennywise is something people will be talking about for a while. I haven’t read the book, but hopefully the rest of the movie lives up to that opening. Warners knows what they’re doing with this one.

  50. HollywoodGarbageScow says:

    Stephen King is a POS, Anyone who puts money in this senile oldfukks pocket is a traitor.

    • trouty42 says:

      I thought all you slack brained Trump supporters liked clowns with their orange hair and ridiculous antics.

      • Referencing Pynchon doesn't make you smarter says:

        Tyrone, Tyrone, Tyrone. King’s a millionaire many times over. You’re a NOBODY who’ll never be wroth a fraction of that, posting comments he’ll never read. He doesn’t need your money, or anyone’s really. He still sells HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BOOKS GLOBALLY every year, in dozens of languages. He’s not sitting at home crying because some alt-right pansy isn’t giving him a few bucks. You’re hilarious, pal!

      • Tyrone Slothrop says:

        I really don’t care what you think. Stephen King, on the other hand, could really use my money, which he won’t get. He doesn’t seem to realize that he needs me a lot more than I need him.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I hope this man’s film is a huge flop!

      • Phyllis Ann's husband, who's had it up to here with her says:

        DAMMIT, Phyllis Ann!! What did I tell you?! Get BACK in that kitchen and fix my dinner! Don’t make me raise my hand!

    • EJ says:

      Ha the amount of time some people have on their hands to talk about how offended they are by the rich/successful is always amazing.

    • poetopoet says:

      They are, they’re un-American, S. King looks like he is developing into a creature.

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