The Labor Day holiday weekend is typically not the strongest at the box office, signifying the end of the summer movie season, and in turn, lower box office receipts. This year, the Labor Day grosses were the lowest in 17 years bringing to an end the worst summer movie season in 11 years, and while early September isn't typically home to blockbuster opening weekends, that certainly seems to be the case this year with New Line's highly-anticipated IT remake, which looks to shake things up in a big way. We're projecting that IT will take in $65.7 million, which would be more than enough to break a few box office records.
If these projections are true, it will be the highest-grossing September debut of all time, easily beating the animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2, which took in $48.4 million in its September 2015 debut. It will also break the 16-year record set by Hannibal as the highest opening weekend for any horror movie, with $58 million. As of now, the IT remake doesn't have enough reviews on Rotten Tomatoes yet, but the early reactions to the film have been overwhelmingly positive, and it seems likely that IT will be just as big a critical hit as a commercial hit. No reviews have been posted yet for Home Again either, but that will likely change soon.
Paired with the IT early reactions last week was a report that claimed IT could take in upwards of $60 million this weekend, but with the buzz continually swirling around this movie, it will likely come in higher than that. If it manages to meet or exceed our $65.7 million projection, it will mark the highest opening weekend tally in two months, since the $117 million pulled in by Spider-Man: Homecoming in the first weekend of July. Box Office Mojo reports that IT will debut in more than 4,000 theaters, although no theater count estimates were given for Home Again. IT will be the first movie to get a rollout in more than 4,000 theaters since the mid-July release of War for the Planet of the Apes, which will also be another important factor in its box office success, since it will be playing in far more theaters than its competitors.
New Line Cinema's horror thriller IT, directed by Andrés Muschietti, is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. 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. The movie stars Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, with Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs and Wyatt Oleff playing the kids who make up The Losers Club.
We're predicting that the romantic comedy Home Again will debut in second place with $11.4 million this weekend. Home Again stars Reese Witherspoon as Alice Kinney in a modern romantic comedy. Recently separated from her husband, (Michael Sheen), Alice decides to start over by moving back to her hometown of Los Angeles with her two young daughters. During a night out on her 40th birthday, Alice meets three aspiring filmmakers who happen to be in need of a place to live. Alice agrees to let the guys stay in her guest house temporarily, but the arrangement ends up unfolding in unexpected ways. Alice's unlikely new family and new romance comes to a crashing halt when her ex-husband shows up, suitcase in hand. Home Again is a story of love, friendship, and the families we create. And one very big life lesson: Starting over is not for beginners.
We're projecting that the top 10 will be rounded out by The Hitman's Bodyguard ($6.2 million), Annabelle: Creation ($5.4 million), Wind River ($4.8 million), Leap! ($3.9 million), Logan Lucky ($2.7 million), Dunkirk ($2.5 million), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($2.3 million) and The Emoji Movie ($1.8 million). Also debuting in limited release is Atlas Distribution's drama 9/11, GKIDS' Napping Princess, Indican's Paradise Club, Sony's Poster Boys, IFC's Rebel in the Rye, Magnolia's School Life, The Orchard's Trophy IFC's The Unknown Girl and Real Women's Year by the Sea. 9/11 is debuting in an estimated 400 theaters this weekend, so it's possible that it could crack the top 10 if it has a great showing in this limited rollout.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three new movies will hit theaters in wide release, Paramount's mother! from director Darren Aronofsky and star Jennifer Lawrence, Lionsgate's action-packed adaptation American Assassin starring Dylan O'Brien and Open Road Films' All I See Is You starring Blake Lively. Also opening in limited release is ArtAffectse' Because of Gracia, Annapurna Pictures' Brad's Status, Film Movement's Time to Die and Vertical Entertainment's The Wilde Wedding. Take a look at our projections for the weekend of September 8, and check back on Sunday for the box office estimates.