Warner Bros. Pictures’ “IT” was a chart-topping success when it debuted in 2017, setting a new standard for horror-thrillers at the box office. The adaptation of Stephen King’s iconic novel broke several records during its theatrical run, and the studio is hoping that this year’s sequel will do even better than the original. The follow-up has an excellent chance of topping “IT’s” domestic opening record, but the movie will need strong sales overseas if it wants to top R-rated charts.
On opening weekend, “IT” made over $123M domestically, which is the highest domestic opening for a September release of all-time. Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Nun” currently holds second place, and that film made $53.8M on its opening weekend. As you can see, “IT” shattered expectations when the movie released in 2017, and the records kept building up the longer it was in theaters.
The original “IT” went on to become the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all-time, making over $700.3M worldwide and ending “The Exorcist” 47-year run at the top of the genre with its $441.3M gross. The movie didn’t make it to the top of the R-rated domestic charts, but it came close. Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” from 2004, still holds the record with $370.7M domestically. “IT” is currently in fourth place on that chart with $327M, behind “The Passion of the Christ,” “Deadpool,” and “American Sniper.” The original missed the high-score by $43M, so it won’t be an easy record for the sequel to break, but it is possible.
“IT: Chapter 2” does have a few advantages this year. The original movie opened against “Home Again,” which made $8.5M, and Warner Bros. Pictures’ horror-thriller “Annabelle: Creation” was still in theaters and made $4M that same weekend. That’s almost $13M from moviegoers that could have seen “IT” on opening weekend. “IT” also had to compete with two thrillers the following week, “American Assassin” and “mother!,” which made a total of $23M during “IT’s” second week in theaters. “IT” still crushed both of those releases, making over $60M domestically during its second week.
“IT: Chapter 2” is opening unopposed next week, and the current box office is filled with movies that have been around for months, or action films that have already started to fizzle out. The week following “IT: Chapter 2” does have a pair of heavy hitters, but they aren’t thrillers. Warner Bros. Picture is releasing “The Goldfinch” drama against the comedy “Hustlers,” and either of those two films could crush “IT: Chapter 2” in its second week.
Andres Muschietti directed the original movie, and he returned for the follow-up. Jaeden Martell, Wyatt Oleff, Jack Dylan Grazer, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, and Jeremy Ray Taylor played the Losers Club, and they are also coming back for the second installment. The sequel’s story picks up with the Losers Club twenty-seven years later, and James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean are playing the grown-up versions of the original cast. Fans should be happy to know that Bill Skarsgård is also returning to his role as Pennywise for the sequel.
You won’t have to wait too long to see the next chapter in the story. “IT: Chapter 2″ releases in theaters on September 6th.”
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