That cackling noise you hear isn’t Pennywise, but New Line executives laughing all the way to the bank. Why? Well because after scoring a huge opening day, the final numbers for their It reboot are now in, and the film’s broken all kinds of records.
Directed by Andy Muschietti of Mama fame, the movie’s a totally reimagined and, crucially, R-rated interpretation of the literary classic, one that splits King’s horror saga right down the middle so that the opening chapter – aptly titled It Part 1 – The Losers Club – focuses on Derry’s freaks and geeks as kids. Pushed to the fringes of society by abusive parents, bullies, and so-called friends, the Losers find solace in one another. Which is just as well considering that the quaint town of Derry, Maine is about to play host to an ancient, otherworldly entity called Pennywise.
Buoyed by positive reviews and tons of strong social media buzz, the box office forecast for It was always pretty good, but its final haul is one that nobody expected. After going from a $50 to $70 and then $100 million estimate for its opening weekend, we’re now learning that the reboot took in a whopping $117 million. Add in $62 million from overseas, and that gives It a wildly impressive $179 million. Not only that, but that domestic total also makes it the best horror opening ever.
“There’s something really special about the story itself, the way the movie was made, and the marketing,” said Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief at Warner Bros. “The stars aligned on this, and we still have some room to grow for the weekend.”
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As you’ve surely heard by now, the film smashed all sorts of other records over the weekend, too. Biggest opening for a September/October release? Check. Biggest single day gross ever for an R-rated movie? You bet. Biggest non-holiday/long weekend R-rated debut of all time? Absolutely. And the list goes on…
With all that in mind, you can bet that Warner Bros. and New Line are feeling pretty happy right now about their decision to issue the go-ahead for It: Chapter 2. A 2019 release is said to be the target, and while we don’t have any other details on the sequel just yet, it’ll certainly be interesting to watch how high It climbs (floats?) at the box office over the next few weeks.