It Primed To Topple The Exorcist As Highest-Grossing Horror Pic In Film History


The past fortnight has been a whirlwind for Warner Bros. and New Line’s It reboot.

Arriving off the back of a smart, measured marketing strategy – Bill Skarsgard ostensibly went into hiding in order to maintain the aura and mystery surrounding Pennywise – It set the global box office alight, collecting a record $123 million in North America on opening weekend.

That proved to be the first domino to fall, as the Andy Muschietti-directed pic has since chewed through practically every box office in its path to stardom, and Deadline today brings word of what is arguably It‘s most impressive feat yet. With its domestic haul of $223 million, the first chapter in New Line’s two-part Pennywise saga is within touching distance of toppling The Exorcist ($232.9m), which has clawed onto the title of highest-grossing horror pic ever since 1973.

There are, however, two caveats to that historic feat. First and foremost, It Chapter 1 won’t actually surpass that milestone until Thursday, while Deadline also notes that this achievement doesn’t factor in some notable horror hybrids – namely The Sixth Sense ($293M), Jaws ($260M) and Will Smith-led apocalypse drama, I Am Legend ($256.4M).

But take nothing away from It. When pulling together its domestic and overseas totals, New Line’s horror rebirth has amassed a staggering $376 million, and that number will only continue to climb (or should that be float?) as we approach the movie’s third weekend.

Indeed, since its launch on Friday, September 8th, It has shattered one box office record after another, becoming the highest-grossing Stephen King adaptation on home turf – The Green Mile was the previous record-holder with $136 million – while last week’s Tuesday ($11.4 million) and Wednesday ($7.9 million) hauls are the best for any horror movie ever released in the month of September. Ditto for Thursday, September 14th, when Muschietti’s revival pulled in a record $7.2 million domestically. Not bad, eh?

Now that Pennywise has been banished for upwards of 27 years, the Losers Club will go their separate ways – at least, until the advent of It: Chapter 2 in 2019.