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Hurricane Irma Causes More Movie Theater Closures as Storm Makes Second Landfall

Hurricane Irma
AP/REX/Shutterstock

Now a Category 3 hurricane, Hurricane Irma made a second landfall in Florida on Sunday, hitting Marco Island on the southwest coast, near Naples, after inundating the Florida Keys.

Packing 120-mph winds, the dangerous storm led to closures and event cancellations throughout the state, including movie theaters and other entertainment venues.

After devastating the Caribbean and forcing one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history, Irma ripped through the Florida Keys on Sunday. According to ABC News, the storm has led to at least three deaths in Florida.

Almost every major cinema has closed in Florida, leading to approximately 175 locations to be shuttered over the weekend, as of Sunday morning. AMC Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, iPic Theaters, and Regal Cinemas first began closing around Miami and Fort Lauderdale on Thursday night.

Although it’s halted moviegoing in Florida, it’s unclear how significantly the storm has affected the overall box office. It could dent attendance by as much as 5%.

“It,” this weekend’s king of the box office, obliterated records in its opening weekend, despite the natural disaster. New Line and Warner Bros.’ big-screen adaptation of the Stephen King classic is set to haul a monster $117.2 million from 4,103 locations, surpassing estimates that were initially in the $60 million range before growing as high as $75 million earlier this week.

But even $117.2 million is a conservative estimate, taking into account a buffer for Irma, as well as the opening Sunday night of the NFL season to deter some otherwise theatergoers. Rival studios say the movie could earn up to $123 million this weekend.

Either way, the film will earn the third-largest opening weekend of the year. It’s also the biggest debut for the month of September and for a horror or supernatural film.