The new adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘It’ is already breaking records, and opening weekend isn’t even over. The film grossed an estimated $13.5M from Thursday night previews alone, and the film opened across 3,500 locations just to meet the expected Thursday night demand. To put that opening in perspective, you only have to look at the previous record-holders. In the horror-genre, “Paranormal Activity 3” had the largest opening weekend with $52M, and that film only made $8M over its Thursday night previews. “It” had the kind of the Thursday night that studios would never expect a horror-thriller to have, in fact, it matches blockbusters like “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
“It” certainly has a lot going for…it. The film is a Stephen King adaptation releasing at a time when thrillers are on the top of everyone’s list, and the story is one of King’s most popular works ($11 at Amazon). Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” I feel, primed everyone to look forward to more sci-fi thrillers starring a young-cast, and the film is opening across an astounding 4,100 locations before the weekend is out. That’s more theaters than any other R-rated film ever, and that includes “Logan” which opened across a then unheard of 4,071 locations. All the while, most studios decided not to challenge the release, with only the romantic-comedy “Home Again” starring Reese Witherspoon to offer any semblance of competition.
This is all happening during a turbulent time for theaters overall, which makes the record-breaking debut all the more impressive. America’s box-office had one of the worst-ever Labor Day weekends this year, and Hurricanes, storms and football are expected to keep many Americans from the theaters this weekend as well. Despite all of this, “It” could hit $60M plus over the film’s opening weekend, a huge win for Warner Bros. Pictures going into the Fall schedule.
The thriller is on-track to hit about $60M to $65M over the film’s opening weekend, which would break the record for a September release. That record was set by Sony’s animated-comedy “Hotel Transylvania 2,” which grossed just under $49M. That’s not the only record that “It” could smash, the Fall record for a horror-thriller is a little over $52M, set by “Paranormal Activity 3”. If “It” wants to take the record for largest domestic gross in the horror-genre, it will only have to beat “The Exorcist” $234M total, or the film can take second-place by beating the “Get Out” total of $175M.
“It” was directed by Andy Muschietti, the film stars Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, and Finn Wolfhard.