Weekend Box Office: 'It' Scares Up Record $51M Friday for $100M-Plus Bow
The film adaptation of Stephen King’s creepy novel is already shattering numerous records, including landing the biggest opening ever for a horror movie, or for the month of September.
There is nothing clownish about It, which grossed a massive $51 million on Friday from 4,103 theaters for a weekend debut north of $100 million.
New Line and Warner Bros.’ film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is jolting the domestic box office back to life after seven straight down weekends, resulting in the worst summer in recent memory, as attendance fell to a 25-year low.
It is shattering numerous records, including landing the biggest start ever for a horror film, not accounting for inflation. And it’s the biggest opening ever for the month of September. The movie’s Friday take alone was bigger than the previous September crown holder, Hotel Transylvania 2, which pulled in $48.5 million for the three days.
And its Friday haul almost matched the opening weekend of Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.6 million), which is the current record-holder for top horror opening.
The movie also nabbed the biggest Friday ever for an R-rated title, beating Deadpool‘s $47 million. (Deadpool went on to open to $132.4 million, however.) And its Thursday preview gross of $15.3 million was the best ever for an R-rated title (besting Deadpool at $12.7 million).
Internationally, the film pulled in an outstanding $16.1 million on Friday on approximately 10,560 screens, bringing the overseas running cume to $25.7 million.
It had been projected to open to $65 million-$70 million, which would still have been a record.
Horror pics traditionally drop from Friday to Saturday, but It should prove the exception to the rule. The other wild card this weekend is Hurricane Irma, which could hurt overall revenue by as much as 5-6 percent. However, analysts don’t expect the disruption to be significant since horror films generally under-index in Florida.
Directed by Argentine filmmaker Andy Muschietti (Mama), It tells the story of the Losers’ Club, a group of misfit children who battle the demonic Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgard) in the small town of Derry, Maine. The horror pic will easily mark a beast for a Stephen King adaptation.
The weekend’s other new nationwide offering is the romantic comedy Home Again, starring Reese Witherspoon. Hallie Meyers-Shyer directed and wrote the movie, with her mother, filmmaker Nancy Meyers, producing.
Home Again is getting off to a much slower start than It, debuting to roughly $3 million on Friday, and for the weekend it now looks likely to gross just over $8 million or so for Open Road Films.
At the specialty box office, 9/11, the new drama starring Charlie Sheen, is only pacing to gross roughly $160,000 from 400 theaters in its debut for a dismal location average of $399.
Sept. 8, 12:05 p.m: Updated to include early Friday estimates.
Sept. 9, 7 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers and revised estimates.