IT is a monster. This killer clown has consumed audiences and is taking a big bite out of the box office with an estimated $51 million opening on Friday. It is now the biggest opening day for any horror movie ever in several parts of the world. It is also the largest September Friday opening ever. And breaks records as New Line's biggest Friday opening on the books. Whew. That's a lot of records for an angry dancing clown. But audiences were hungry for something to devour. And IT delivers in scares.
The huge $51 million opening now has the film on track to earn $100 million or more throughout the entire weekend at the U.S. box office. Of the $51 million already on the books, Box Office Mojo points out that $13.5 million came from Thursday Previews. That pull broke a big record, stealing Deadpool's largest R-Rated opening of all time. It was also the largest pre-show for a movie opening in September.
IT has also broken another interesting record. It has the distinction of playing the largest amount of screens for an R-rated movie, with it now in 4,103 theaters. A lot of people are being terrified by Pennywise this weekend. And this is certainly good news for the failing box office, which really needed a shot in the arm after one of the worst summers on record and a truly dismal August.
To put this box office in perspective, IT has already broken the largest September weekend on record in just one day. Hotel Transylvania 2 opened in 2015, earning $48.5 million during its first three days of release. IT is also doing stellar business around the globe. It is currently playing in 10,560 theaters in 46 markets, with overseas earnings of $25.7 million. It has captured an astounding 86% of the overall box office share.
IT opened in the UK to an estimated $4.5 million playing on 1,342 screens. That makes it the biggest opening day for any horror movie in that country, as well as other parts of the world. And it's Warner Bros.' biggest opening for 2017.
New Line Cinema's horror thriller IT is directed by Andrés Muschietti (Mama), who plans to come back and director IT Chapter 2 in early 2018 with a 2019 release date already being planned. After this huge opening, you can probably guess that New Line will move fast on the sequel. Most of the original cast is returning in some capacit.
The movie is based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries. IT stars Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the clown, who will definitely be back in the sequel. Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip), Sophia Lillis (37), Finn Wolfhard (TV's Stranger Things), Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming Cops and Robbers), Jack Dylan Grazer (Tales of Halloween) and Nicholas Hamilton (Captain Fantastic) make up the ensemble cast. IT is getting plenty of positive word of mouth, so expect the final weekend box office tallies to be even bigger than what some are expecting at the moment.