Box office: Stephen King’s ‘It’ smashes records with massive $117 million opening | Entertainment
September 11, 2017 Share

Box office: Stephen King’s ‘It’ smashes records with massive $117 million opening | Entertainment

Director of the movie Andy Muschietti poses at the premiere for “It” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 5, 2017. REUTERS

LOS ANGELES: “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 should make a whopping $117.2 million from 4,103 locations, far surpassing earlier expectations. That would give “It” the third largest opening weekend of 2017, about even with “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which made $117 million. Only “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” earned more this year. $7.2 million of “It‘s” domestic grosses are coming from 377 Imax screens.

“There’s something really special about the story itself, the way the movie was made, and the marketing,” said Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief at Warner Bros. “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.

“It‘s” opening is mostly unprecedented, crushing the record for largest September opening 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 openings, “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 $179 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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