The horror juggernaut everyone was waiting for has conquered the North American box office. Based on Stephen King’s extremely popular book of the same name, “It” opened to a thunderous $117.2 million over the Friday-to-Sunday period. The terror tale was always expected to be a monster hit, but once the doors opened and lines began forming the numbers soared past any possibility that was imagined. It was the biggest opening weekend ever during the September-October corridor; more than doubling the $55.8 million of 2013’s “Gravity”, the previous best during this time of year. Summer tent pole numbers were posted on what historically has been one of the slowest weekends of the entire year.
The beloved literary classic was made as a limited TV series/film in 1990, starring Tim Curry as Pennywise, the Dancing Clown.
This iteration had a rag-tag of group of kids, called “The Losers Club” going against the latest Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgård. The biggest horror movie debut of all-time received rave reviews ever since critics watched it at the start of last week and anticipation was building at a fever-pitch.
The road ahead is bright for “It” which could finish its domestic run in the $250 million-$300 million range which is just mind-blowing for a $35M production. That can make it one of the top five blockbusters of the year thus far.
The distant second place belonged to Reese Witherspoon-led “Home Again” which grossed a measly $9 million. Directed by romantic-comedy pioneer Nancy Meyer’s daughter Hallie Meyers-Shyer, the movie was targeted at young women but fell flat on its face and the road ahead looks rocky at best.
After a three-week reign atop the box office that saw the overall numbers match up to those from two decades back, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” slipped to the third spot with $4.9 million, taking its cume to $64.9 million, on the way to a successful $75 million territory.
Despite intense horror competition, the fright flick “Annabelle: Creation” held up quite well in its fifth weekend dropping 47% for the second best hold for any wide release this weekend. Warner Bros. collected an estimated $4 million pushing the total to $96.3 million on course to become the only film from August 2017 to break the century mark.
The Weinstein Co. followed with a pair of its titles. “Wind River” dropped 49% to an estimated $3.2 million while the toon “Leap!” fell 48% to an estimated $2.5 million. New totals are $25 million and $15.9 million, respectively.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $147.6 million which was up a sharp 84% from last year when “Sully” opened at number one with $35 million.