'It' Scares Off Competition at Box Office With Record-Breaking Opening

The horror movie adapted from Stephen King's novel ends the box office slump with a massive $117.2 million opening.

AceShowbiz - "It" floats its way to the top spot of North American box office. The R-rated horror movie has become a new hit, pocketing a massive $117.2 million from 4,103 theaters across the nation in its first weekend, against its modest $35 million production cost.

Ending the box office slump, the movie shatters many records, including the largest September opening, which was previously held by "Hotel Transylvania 2" with $48.5 million in 2015. It's additionally named the biggest start ever for a horror pic and for a Stephen King adaptation.

The movie also sets new record of biggest opening for a R-rated horror film, beating out "Paranormal Activity 3" which took in $52.5 million. The Andy Muschietti-directed film is already the fifth highest grossing R-rated horror film all-time after just three days in release.

Moreover, the movie starring %cBill Skarsgard% as evil clown Pennywise scores the third-best domestic debut of the year so far, behind "Beauty and the Beast (2017)" ($174.8 million) and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" ($146.2 million). The horror pic is also a hit overseas, earning $62 million from 46 markets for a global start of $179.2 million.

"Pennywise has certainly brought big dollars back to the movie theater, and not a moment too soon," says comScore analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "Let's face it, people love horror movies, and within the darkened walls of a movie theater, the communal electricity that is created by a bunch of people being scared out of their wits is almost as fun as the movie itself; this is why the film has obliterated expectations and is setting records."

Warners domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein comments on the movie's performance, "Every now and then, you get it right. Every now and then, you get it wrong. And then every now and then, you get it absolutely right. The source materials is really creepy and really fun. And let's give kudos to our marketing group."

"It" was actually projected to pull in over $120 million over the weekend. However, with Hurricane Irma which forced more than 175 Florida theaters to close on Saturday, the overall box-office revenue could have dropped by about 4.5|percent| and "It" could have lost out on as much as $5 million.

"It" practically faced no significant competition with "Home Again" as the only other new wide release this weekend. The romantic comedy starring %cReese Witherspoon% and %cMichael Sheen% debuts at the domestic chart on No. 2 with an estimated $9 million.

"The Hitman's Bodyguard" is pushed two steps down to No. 3 with approximately $4.8 million. "Annabelle: Creation" also loses two spots, landing at No. 4 with an estimated $4 million. "Wind River" rounds out the top five with approximately $3.2 million.

Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for September 8-10:

  1. "It" - $117.1 million
  2. "Home Again" - $9 million
  3. "The Hitman's Bodyguard" - $4.8 million
  4. "Annabelle: Creation" - $4 million
  5. "Wind River" - $3.2 million
  6. "Leap!" - $2.5 million
  7. "Spider-Man: Homecoming" - $2 million
  8. "Dunkirk" - $1.9 million
  9. "Logan Lucky" - $1.8 million
  10. "The Emoji Movie" - $1.1 million

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