IT Chapter Two is just around the corner and, based on the early box office projections, the sequel is going to be a big, bloody hit. That may have been a foregone, relatively obvious conclusion, given how well the first movie did. The only real, meaningful question we're left with is, can the sequel manage to top the success of the original? Or will it fall just a little bit short?

First, let's look at the numbers. Various reports have listed early tracking numbers for IT Chapter Two. On the low side, analysts project the horror flick, which is adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name, will pull in $110 million. On the high end, some estimates have it getting closer to $140 million. That is approaching massive Marvel superhero movie numbers. It's remarkable we're even discussing this as being a possibility. Considering there is a pretty sizable gap of $30 million between the low and high side of these box office projections, this seems like a good time to mention that box office tracking has proved to be a bit unreliable when it comes to some of these major releases in recent years.

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Case in point, IT went on to obliterate even the most bullish predictions when it debuted in 2017, setting a record with $123.4 million, on its way to $700 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing horror movie of all time. With that in mind, it's entirely possible the follow-up, which sees Andy Muschietti returning to the director's chair, could at least match, if not beat, its predecessor. To be clear, if the sequel doesn't quite match the first movie, it will by no means be a failure. It's still poised to be one of the most successful non-Disney movies of 2019.

Several factors are working in favor of IT Chapter Two. For one, it has a great ensemble playing the adult version of The Losers Club led by James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader. Bill Skarsgard is also returning as Pennywise, which will put a certain amount of meat in seats. Other studios are also steering clear, for the most part, so the sequel will have a clear path to box office dominance in its early weeks. It's been confirmed that the runtime is just shy of three hours. One might think that would work against it, but it certainly didn't hurt Avengers: Endgame, so there's no reason to think it will do any harm here.

2019 has proved to be brutal for any studio that isn't Disney. Several franchise flicks and reboots have bombed and everyone is scrambling to find a way to actually get people out of their homes and into a theater. This is more than a movie. It's an event and people will come, that much is certain. But will it be a record-breaking number of people? We shall see. IT Chapter Two is set to arrive in theaters on September 6. This news was previously reported by Deadline.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott