Heading into the weekend, most box office analysts predicted that New Line Cinema's highly-anticipated Stephen King adaptation IT would have no trouble taking the top spot at the box office, but it ended up coming in much higher than anticipated. The movie ended up setting a new September box office record, earning $117.1 million, nearly three times higher than the previous record-holder, Hotel Transylvania 2, which took in $48.5 million back in 2015. This adaptation also continues to prove that there is in fact an audience for R-rated fare.
Box Office Mojo reports that the IT movie debuted in 4,103 theaters, pulling in an impressive $28,552 per-screen average. The movie has already made more than three times its $35 million budget, and it's faring well overseas also with $62 million for a worldwide total of $179.1 million. This adaptation continues the trend of R-rated fare overperforming at the box office, although it didn't quite reach the opening weekend record set by last year's Deadpool, which opened with a whopping $132.4 million. Despite not breaking the record, this debut is still quite impressive, especially coming off a horrid summer movie season.
We reported last week that this was the worst summer movie season since 2006, but it was expected that IT would help snap the late summer cold streak. 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.
The weekend's only other new release, the romantic comedy Home Again, starring Reese Witherspoon, opened in a distant second place with $9 million. The romantic comedy opened in 2,940 theaters, but could only muster a $3,071 per-screen average. The top 10 was rounded out by The Hitman's Bodyguard ($4.8 million), Annabelle: Creation ($4 million), Wind River ($3.2 million), Leap! ($2.5 million), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($2 million), Dunkirk ($1.9 million), Logan Lucky ($1.8 million) and The Emoji Movie ($1 million). Also debuting in limited release is IFC's Rebel in the Rye, which took in $44,280 from four theaters for a $11,070 per-screen average and The Orchard's Trophy, which earned $3,474 from one theater. No box office data was given for Atlas Distribution's drama 9/11, GKIDS' Napping Princess, Indican's Paradise Club, Sony's Poster Boys, Magnolia's School Life, IFC's The Unknown Girl and Real Women's Year by the Sea.
Looking ahead to next weekend, 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 the box office estimates for the weekend of September 8, and be sure to check back on Tuesday for next week's predictions.