Box Office: Stephen King’s ‘It’ Officially Opens to Massive $123 Million

It
Warner Bros

UPDATED 9/11:It” came; “It” saw; “It” conquered.

The New Line and Warner Bros. adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is officially shattering box office records during its opening weekend. The R-rated horror film made a whopping $123.1 million from 4,103 locations, as of Monday morning. On Sunday, the studio gave a more cautious estimate of $117.2 million, taking into account the potential effects of Hurricane Irma and the NFL. So “It” officially has the third-largest opening weekend of 2017, more than “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which made $117 million. Only “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” earned more this year. Imax screens accounted for $6.7 million of the total.

“There’s something really special about the story itself, the way the movie was made, and the marketing,” Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief at Warner Bros said on Sunday. “The stars aligned on this, and we still have some room to grow for the weekend.”

“It” earned a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 87% and a B+ CinemaScore. Its gender breakdown is reportedly 51% female and 49% male. About two thirds of the audience has been over 25 years old.

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“It’s” opening is mostly unprecedented, crushing the record for largest September debut set by “Hotel Transylvania 2” in 2015 with $48.5 million, and the biggest opening weekend banked by a horror or supernatural film — “Paranormal Activity 3” earned $52.6 million in 2011. When it comes to R-rated movie launches, “It” falls only to “Deadpool,” which changed the game in 2016 with a massive $132.4 million opening. This, during a weekend when Hurricane Irma threatens huge portions of Florida and Georgia, which could dent attendance by as much as 5%.

In addition to its domestic grosses, the horror hit is expected to pull in $62 million from 46 markets overseas, giving “It” a $185 million global debut. That’s a huge win for a movie with an estimated $35 million production budget.

Horror films often have lower budgets than other more CGI-dense blockbusters, so the return on investment has potential to be massive. Goldstein said the genre is one that New Line particularly excels in, and there is potential to see more horror in the future if the right story comes along. “If we were able to find more films in this genre, we’d be thrilled to make them,” he said.

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The movie comes courtesy of Argentine director Andy Muschietti, who is known for the 2013 horror film “Mama.” Bill Skarsgard stars as Pennywise the Clown, who terrorizes young children in Derry, Maine. The rest of the cast includes youngsters Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott in supporting roles.

That leaves Open Road’s “Home Again” trailing far behind. The Reese Witherspoon-led romantic comedy should earn $9 million this weekend from 2,940 locations. The $15 million project was directed by Hallie Meyer-Shyer, the daughter of Nancy Meyers, who also worked on the film as a producer. The story centers on Witherspoon’s character — a mother of two who unexpectedly has three young men come to live with her following a recent separation from her husband.

Lionsgate’s “Hitman’s Bodyguard” is landing in third with $4.9 million from 3,322 locations after winning the domestic box office for the past three weekends. “Annabelle: Creation” from Warner Bros. is next with $4 million from 3,003 spots. And “Wind River” caps the top five with an anticipated $3.2 million from 2,890 theaters.

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For the movie business, “It” couldn’t have come at a better time. Following a dismal summer box office that plunged 14.6% from last summer to $3.8 billion, “It” serves in part as the pick-me-up the industry was desperately craving. After this weekend, the year to date box office will improve from 6.5% behind 2016 to 5.5%, according to data provided by comScore.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore, attributed the film’s success to the “universality of the fear of clowns” which created an “event for fans who came out to be scared en masse in the communal environment of the movie theater.”

He added, “The marketing campaign brilliantly evoked a sense of teenage wonderment, fear, and ultimately bravery in the face of the true evil as perfectly embodied by Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise. That, along with the great ensemble cast of young actors and a movie that delivered on the promise of that marketing, made the film an astonishing over-performer.”

A sequel is already in the works at New Line with Gary Dauberman attached to write the script, and Muschietti expected to return to the director’s chair.

Regarding plans for the next movie, Goldstein said, “It puts more pressure on us to come up with the best version of the story so we bring fans what they want to see. We’ve had a lot of history with franchises. Some are great, and some we wish we had a little bit more story. Fortunately, there’s a lot here in this story.”

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  1. Hoarbles McFlarbadoop says:

    This movie made a lot of money because people are getting less intelligent.

    I am very sad to see that no one cares about good storytelling, just pretty photography and a bunch of retarded jump-scares.

    I knew it was going to be like this the second I saw the pic they released of the new “Pennywise” design: some excruciatingly stupid Renaissance-fair lookin’ crap. I’ve taken dumps more scary than that.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      I’ll point out again that they SAID they made lots of money. Saying it does not make it so or Hollywood wouldn’t go begging for investors all over the world including Communist China…

      • Hoarbles McFlarbadoop says:

        Thank you. That is very interesting, Rena. :) Very, very interesting.

        It makes me think… I’m guessing you mean that “box office receipts tripled” only in the sense that the studios started lying to the media (after this Murphy died) about how much money these movies made.

        And that the studios have “a lot riding on these numbers” because the news saying a movie made a ton of movie on its opening weekend creates the illusion of quality, which boosts actual receipts, which keeps the studios in business.

        But this business model is, according to you, starting to grind itself down because they are starting to look for investors instead of using all this money their movies are allegedly making. Cool.

        What’s interesting to me is that it apparently only takes ONE GUY to actually call theaters and get accurate numbers. If there was some independent news source that published these numbers — say, a website — then that could conceivably hasten the demise of this crappy Hollywood business model that churns out soul-sucking dogshit like “It 2017” and then gives it a cheap but effective polish with false box office numbers.

      • Rena Moretti says:

        Thanks for the question Hoarbles. :)

        I appreciate the opportunity to elaborate.

        The real question, the one nobody ever asks is “where do those box-office numbers come from”?

        They are not gathered independently or audited. They are issued from the PR offices of the distributors and taken at face value by ALL the media outlets.

        In the old days, when box-office reporting was invented, it was one guy in a Hollywood office calling about half the theaters and getting them to tell him how much each movie made over the week-end (the guy was Art Murphy aka Murf. of Variety).

        But after a while the studios saw fit to publish their own numbers. As long as Murphy’s network was there, they didn’t dare cheat too much. They started with the opening week-end numbers, resulting in MANY movies tied for 5th as the newspapers at the time only published the top 5 (that was in the 80s).

        As time progressed and Mr. Murphy passed away, the studios have had a free hand saying whatever they want, and they have. Box-office receipts tripled from their historical trend (yes they tripled even as more TV channels appeared, computer gaming, then online gaming started etc…)

        So no, none of the press is “lying” per se. They are just repeating information they haven’t checked and are unwilling to check (I once corresponded with a major newspaper journalists who asked me “but what do you want us to do about it? Gather our own numbers” I sad ‘yes, of course’ but of course they didn’t…)

        Boxofficemojo in particular is often cited as a “source” for those numbers, but they don’t originate any of them. The source is the studio which has a LOT riding on those numbers being good. Hollywood currently depends on more money coming in to make new projects (that why you keep finding investment groups as co-producers of supposedly hit franchises – why do you think Hollywood isn’t financing 100% of them and keeping all those “huge profits”?)

        Hope that helped. :)

      • Hoarbles McFlarbadoop says:

        Oh really? Who said? Forbes magazine? IMDB? Rotten Tomatoes? GameSpot? BoxOfficeMojo? Inquisitr.com? I wouldn’t put lying past the media since it’s obvious that the ratings on RT aren’t to be trusted, but are all these guys lying? If so, why?

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  15. Cole says:

    This movie is disgusting. I can’t believe any parent would take their young children to it but I saw dozens doing just that.

  16. Alistar says:

    BRING BACK FREDDY KRUEGER

  17. KT Chong says:

    Aren’t Americans supposedly boycotting Hollywood movies over Donald Trump?

    Last week, when the Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported that Hollywood had the worst summer box office in a decade, all the alt-righters and Trumptards were gleefully asserting how it due to Americans were boycotting movies over Hollywood’s anti-Trump sentiments.

    Well, Stephen King is a yuge Trump hater. Trump blocked King on Twitter, and King wanted to ban Donald Trump from watching It and all future movies based on his works; (not sure how that could possibly be accomplished.)

    So why has Stephen King’s IT made so much money at the box office? IT’s box office results do not exactly fit into alt-right’s “true Americans are boycotting Hollywood” narrative, does it?

    • Virgilio says:

      I read that article too, and I had never heard of such a boycott. The summer movies just sucked until now. “It” was really good though, I can’t recommend it enough for domestic stateside viewers. I might see it twice.

    • Jacen says:

      Because the Reichwingnuts live in an alternate reality that most of us would call delusion and others would call insanity. Just look at Douche D’mentia latest turkey of a book (or just read the right up on it at The Week. Truly insane.

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  19. Barbara says:

    I would never go see another King movie nor buy any of his books. He wants to push his politics fine. Thats his right. But, not with my hard earned $$ My 8 grandchildren won’t be watching it anytime soon either. Us Conservatives stick together.

  20. Just think if King hadn’t insulted all Americans who voted against hillary/criminal there would have been in excess of an additional 100,000,000 tickets sold.

    • Jacen says:

      100mil tickets? Seriously? With an average ticket price in America of roughly 8 dollars, you seriously believe that the movie could have opened to a billion dollars if the illiterate deplorable hadn’t been insulted? really? When has a movie ever opened that high? Answer: never. Not even close (liberal The Force Awakens holds the record at over 250mil). There is this wonderful thing called reality. You should seek it out before you start a mental zombie apocalypse.

    • Bill Clay says:

      It must burn you deplorables that “It” was a ‘yuge’ hit, despite your impotent calls for a right-wing boycott. Have you figured out yet that YOU are the minority in this country?

    • Rerbert says:

      You deserve it, moron.

  21. We live in NYC and so far on buses and subways and even the LIRR we haven’t heard of anyone who saw the film or who intends to see it,next we will hear that everybody in Florida went to see it to get away from the hurricane.

    • Bobby Bryant says:

      It’s obviously a liberal conspiracy and fake news, Robert! Stephen King didn’t have to worry about losing sales because he insulted those who voted ‘against Hillary’ because very few of those folks read books, anyway, just online tripe from wingnut sites.

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  24. Michael says:

    In the classic movie, Henry Bowers was blamed for the missing children. So if this movie did have a post credits scene, I think it would’ve been something like this… Henry laying at the bottom of the well. He looks around disoriented and realizes he has at least a broken leg if not more broken limbs. Then he sees what appear to be 2 glowing eyes coming closer to him. He stares at the 2 lights getting closer until the camera reveals that it’s 2 flashlights from 2 police officers called by Eddie’s mother. Since she did find her son at that house the 1st time. It would make sense she sends them there to find Eddie again. Scene ends with police saying “we got him”

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  30. Bambi says:

    As a die-hard King fan, I feel guilty for feeling as I do about the 2 most recent films released based on his books, It and The Dark Tower. Very, very disappointing!!! The movies dont even come close to the thrill of the books. I will most likely pass on any future King movies and stick with the books. Don’t waste your money folks!

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  35. JEFF STERLING says:

    It made me sick… it’s the first movie I walked out on about halfway into it.

  36. Cherelle says:

    That the new movie it was not scary or that clown really now yall should got it from the old movie

  37. Joshua Edwards says:

    I watched “it” last night at the cinemas wuth my partner and had my doubts that it would be as good as the original back in 1990 but I tell you I ate my words because the movie was fuckinggggg awesomeeee, a lot of jump scares and in fact I want to see it again. Im looking forward to the sequel.

  38. Spike says:

    right. clowns in the sewer system. sure, King. are you so bereft of ideas that you came up with that poppy cock? it’s all about money, I guess. Stephen King, the supreme horror whore.

  39. Lisa Johnson says:

    Did anyone else see similarities to Supernatural? Rufus was in it, could have been a black Chevy impala and Pennywise was a leviathen monster. Not scarey, irritating that the volume of the movie got much louder before a “scary”. Tim Curry was by far the best actor since he literally had to act, not have green screen so much.

  40. loco73 says:

    Well earned. A solid movie all around. And another example that you don’t need a huge budget to deliver a good movie.

    I can’t believe that this movie was made for $35 million dollars, while the year has been populated with $100 million + budgeted movies that in the end proved to be just empty spectacles.

  41. Steve Barr says:

    Why didn’t anyone see The Mist it was a much better Stephen King movie . I guess when you are fed hamburger all the time you don’t know what steak is .

  42. Brent Christopher says:

    These numbers are a LIE!
    These numbers were created intentionally to dim the light on the $100 mil box office accrued by black starring & directed horror flick, GET OUT.

  43. David says:

    What a terrible movie, I was so completely disappointed! Not scary at all… It just goes to show how powerful advertising is.

  44. Jacques Strappe says:

    “It” on the silver screen and “It” in the White House. Enough creepiness to give anyone nightmares.

  45. Alexander Witmer says:

    Laughing at all the negative comments on here, saying the movie was crap.

    If you’re a fan of jump scares, this movie delivers.

    If you’re a fan of slow, creepy buildup, this movie does an ok job of that too.

    They cut out a lot of the stupid or thematically inconsistent stuff from the movie and book, and had a couple of pretty strong thematic tie-ins to the recent Gunslinger movie.

    And they nailed the 10year old trash talk dialogue perfectly for comic relief.

    The theater I saw it in was completely full at 11pm on a Saturday night, and it was full of people alternately laughing and jumping in their seats.

    I sincerely doubt the people being massively negative on here saw the movie, and if they did they’re the type to be overly critical simply because it’s the cool thing to do.

    Give the studio and director props; they made a good movie out of one of the most difficult to adapt books out there.

    The real question is, will they be able to save the next movie from the last 200 pages of the book?

  46. Rudy Mario says:

    While the boxoffice is supreme and one must bow to the paying public’s verdict, I was not impressed by the movie and am fully aligned with Variety’s review of the movie. Let us see how well it does in the second week.

  47. Rena Moretti says:

    Good to see the good habit of tripling Box-Office reports is still alive and well…

    As for the article, great copy-and-paste of the PR Release…

  48. CC says:

    They aren’t turning it into a “franchise.” New Line had all along meant to make it a two part series. The first movie focuses on the kids and the sequel will focus on them as adults.

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