With the opening weekend behind us, we now have a chance to reflect on New Line Cinema’s latest thriller “IT,” which entered into the record books on both domestic and international levels. The official numbers were announced today by Sue Kroll, President Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, and are unheard of in the horror-genre. Kroll announced that the new adaptation (which is based on Stephen King’s bestseller) brought-in an estimated $189.4M worldwide over the opening weekend, and that means quite a few records were broken over the last four days.
Domestically, “IT” grossed an amazing $123.1M at the domestic box-office. The thriller defeating multiple records in its first weekend, starting with $13.5 million Thursday night previews, which made history as the highest horror preview ever. The film had the largest R-rated preview, and it is now the top September preview ever. Through the weekend, the film had the top horror film opening of all-time, and “IT” also had the biggest September opening for a film of any genre. The opening was also the highest non-holiday weekend release for an R-rated film, another fantastic achievement for any horror-film.
On its own, “IT” surpassed the all-time industry record gross for a post-Labor Day weekend. In addition, “IT” now stands as New Line Cinema’s highest opening ever, and moviegoers looking for the biggest scares gave IMAX their #1 opening weekend in September. The records had begun falling even before release, as “IT” became the top horror pre-seller ever, and Fandango’s top September pre-seller ever for any genre. Amazon is offering the original TV movie-series event in HD for $3 this week, just to celebrate the film’s release with fans.
Internationally, “IT” also saw huge releases in 46 markets, topping the box office in virtually all of them. Taking in an extraordinary $66.3 million, “IT” had the largest opening ever for a horror film. The film also had the highest opening weekend for a horror film and top September debut ever in Russia and Australia, and was the highest-grossing horror film to debut in Brazil, Holland and Poland. “IT” was also Warner Bros. Pictures’ largest opening for 2017 in 19 markets, including Russia, Australia, Spain, Poland, Norway, Belgium, Finland, Denmark and Chile. Anticipation is high in major markets yet to open, including Sweden, Mexico, France, Argentina, Germany and Italy.
In making the announcement, Kroll stated, “Anticipation for ‘IT’ has been at a fever pitch since the record-breaking debut of its teaser trailer, and the film has exceeded all expectations. ‘IT’ is not only a tremendously successful entry in New Line’s expanding horror-verse, but its appeal transcends the genre. Everyone involved, including director Andy Muschietti, his cast, and the producers, did a remarkable job bringing Stephen King’s cherished masterpiece to the big screen. I want to congratulate them, as well as all of our colleagues at New Line, on this fantastic start. I also want to recognize the inspired marketing campaign, spearheaded by Blair Rich, and our worldwide distribution efforts, led by Jeff Goldstein, Veronika Kwan Vandenberg and Tom Molter, and all their teams. We look forward to strong reviews and word-of-mouth carrying the film well into the fall/holiday season.”
“IT” tells the story of seven young outcasts growing up in the township of Derry, Maine, who call themselves the Losers’ Club. Each of them has been ostracized for one reason or another; each has a target on their back from the local pack of bullies…and all have seen their inner fears come to life in the form of an ancient shapeshifting predator they can only call It. For as long as their town has existed, Derry has been the entity’s hunting ground, emerging from the sewers every 27 years to feed on the terrors of its chosen prey: Derry’s children. Banding together over one horrifying and exhilarating summer, the Losers form a close bond to help them overcome their own fears and stop a killing cycle that began on a rainy day, with a small boy chasing a paper boat as it swept down a storm drain…and into the hands of Pennywise the Clown.
Directed by Andy Muschietti (“Mama”), “IT” is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name ($11 on Amazon), which has been terrifying readers for decades. First published in 1986, IT became an instant classic. It continues to be counted among the best and most influential works of the undisputed literary master of horror, inspiring numerous film and television projects in the years that have followed.
The film stars Bill Skarsgård (“Allegiant,” TV’s “Hemlock Grove”) as the story’s central villain, Pennywise. An ensemble of young actors also star in the film, including Jaeden Lieberher (“Midnight Special”), Jeremy Ray Taylor (“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”), Sophia Lillis (“37”), Finn Wolfhard (TV’s “Stranger Things”), Wyatt Oleff (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming “Cops and Robbers”), Jack Dylan Grazer (“Tales of Halloween”), Nicholas Hamilton (“Captain Fantastic”) and Jackson Robert Scott, making his film debut.
Muschietti directed “IT” from a screenplay by Chase Palmer & Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman, based on the novel by King. Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg and Barbara Muschietti produced the film, with Dave Neustadter, Walter Hamada, Richard Brener, Toby Emmerich, Marty P. Ewing, Doug Davison, Jon Silk and Niija Kuykendall serving as executive producers.
The behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Chung-Hoon Chung (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” “Oldboy”), production designer Claude Paré (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), editor Jason Ballantine (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), and costume designer Janie Bryant (TV’s “Mad Men”). The music was composed by Benjamin Wallfisch (“Annabelle: Creation”).