Stephen King’s IT Breaks Records With $123 Million Domestic Opening Weekend

pennywise-it

By Heath McKnight (doddleNEWS)

The 2017 film adaptation of Stephen King’s IT has genuine hype leading up to its September 8 opening. Fans were excited after the first trailer, and soon Warner Bros. realized they had a bonafide upcoming hit, and really upped the marketing. It paid off in dividends as the movie opened to $51 million on Friday, $123.1 million in North America, and another $66.3 million internationally, breaking several records in the process. Not bad for a film that had some behind-the-scenes drama before director Andy Muschietti stepped in.

With an estimated production budget of only $35 million, Warner Bros. has a mega-hit on its hands, and the audience gave it a B+ rating (via CinemaScore), and critics gave it an overall fresh score of 86% (via Rotten Tomatoes), so it’s safe to say Stephen King’s IT will have legs.

Muschietti’s direction combined with a great cast, the decision to base it in the 80s for the adaptation of the book’s first half (vs. 1950s), how it felt like Stranger Things (which itself is influenced heavily by King and Steven Spielberg), and Bill Skarsgard terrifying turn as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. All of this lead to a fantastic turnout of all four quadrants: Women and men over and under the age of 25 (51% to 49% women to men). Acc

Let’s talk Stephen King’s IT records (North American / domestic box office)…

  1. Largest opening in September.
  2. Largest Fall opening (could get dethroned in 2 months by Justice League).
  3. Largest opening for a horror film that’s Rated R.
  4. Widest opening for an R-Rated film.
  5. Second largest R-Rated opening weekend (Deadpool made $132.4 million over Valentine’s Day weekend in 2016)

The sequel to Stephen King’s IT is a guarantee (and will feature the kids as adults, set in the present day), and I’m sure they can turn this into a franchise with sequels and perhaps even prequels that can dive further into Pennywise’s past. I don’t know if there will be a ton of sequels a la Saw or Paranormal Activity (both of which became an annual event), but I can see the producers and filmmakers taking Stephen King’s IT in a direction like The Conjuring: The main films with some spinoffs (Annabelle and the Creepy Nun).

While Stephen King’s IT is expected to experience a second weekend dropoff, I believe it won’t be severe, and the film could end up making between $200 and $300 million in North America (per Forbes). Stay tuned for more news on the box office and sequel!

Big hat tip: Box Office Mojo

About Heath McKnight

Editor and Web Content Manager at doddleNEWS; I've been a writer for over 10 years, and a producer/director/editor in film and video for over 16 years. I've written for TopTenREVIEWS, Digital Media Net, Videomaker and other sites and magazines.