After the highly-anticipated Stephen King adaptation IT had a record-breaking box office debut last weekend, practically all box office prognosticators believed the movie would take the top spot in its second weekend as well, and they were right. The movie dropped a respectable 51.4% in its second frame, earning an estimated $60 million, which was more than enough to take down the weekend's two new releases, American Assassin and mother!, both of which underperformed. This weekend's tally also put IT over $200 million at the domestic box office this weekend and broke yet another record making it the highest grossing September movie of all time.
Box Office Mojo reports that the IT remake actually gained 45 theaters this weekend, bringing its total theater count to 4,148, which was thousands of theaters more than both of this weekend's newcomers. Lionsgate's action-packed adaptation American Assassin debuted in second place with $14.8 million, which came in about $5 million less than our projection, opening in 3,154 theaters for a somewhat decent $4,692 per-screen average. mother! was right behind it in third place with $7.5 million, opening in 2,368 theaters for a middling $3,167 per-screen average. While the debuts weren't massive, the good news for both movies is that they didn't cost much to produce, with American Assassin made on a $33 million budget and mother! produced on a $30 million budget.
Despite American Assassin, starring Dylan O'Brien and Michael Keaton, making nearly twice as much as mother!, the action-packed adaptation of the Vince Flynn novel was by no means a hit critically, although mother! certainly was. American Assassin earned a horrid 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, with mother! earning a "fresh" 68% rating. We also reported that, while critics may have loved the movie, audiences hated mother!, earning a rare F Cinemascore rating, making it just the 12th movie to earn the lowest grade since 2004, and the first to do so since The Devil Inside in 2012. It's worth noting that American Assassin was given a B+ grade on CinemaScore this weekend.
The top 10 is rounded out by Home Again ($5.3 million), The Hitman's Bodyguard ($3.5 million), Annabelle: Creation ($2.6 million), Wind River ($2.5 million), Leap! ($2.1 million), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($1.8 million) and Dunkirk ($1.3 million). It's worth noting that, while the box office prediction story from Tuesday was being written, a movie called All I See Is You was on the release schedule for this weekend, but now it has been moved to October 27, 2017. Also opening in limited release is Annapurna Pictures' Brad's Status, which earned $100,179 from four theaters for an impressive $25,045 per-screen average. and FilmRise's Vengeance: A Love Story, which took in $5,000 from nine theaters for a dismal $556 per-screen average. No box office data was given for ArtAffects' Because of Gracia, Film Movement's Time to Die, Abramorama's Wetlands, the independent western Justice! and Vertical Entertainment's The Wilde Wedding. It isn't clear if any of these films will expand nationwide in the weeks ahead.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three new movies will arrive in wide release, 20th Century Fox's Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Warner Bros.' The LEGO Ninjago Movie and Entertainment Studios' Friend Request. Also opening in limited release is the Fox Searchlight sports drama Battle of the Sexes, Oscilloscope Pictures' documentary Bobbi Jene, Vertical Entertainment's horror movie Happy Hunting, Samuel Goldwyn Films' drama The King's Choice, Indican's action movie Ribbons, Roadside Attractions' drama Stronger, Shout! Factory's dramatic comedy The Tiger Hunter, the independent documentary Unrest, Focus Features' drama Victoria and Abdul and A24's dramatic thriller Woodshock. Take a look at the box office estimates for the weekend of September 15, and check back on Tuesday for next week's predictions.