Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

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

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

"The stars aligned on this, and we still have some room to grow for the weekend". Not only did it score the third-largest opening weekend of 2017, it more than doubled the record set by "Hannibal" for the biggest horror movie opening of all-time.

Audiences, hungry for something they could sink their teeth into during a bad summer at the box office, were in the mood to be scared "It"-less". "It" had to deal with the threat of Hurricane Irma in the country's third most populous state. The highly-anticipated horror film made spectular collection from 4,103 locations, exceeding the previous expectations. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 87% rating. A tidily made horror movie with an imaginative director, made for $35 million, can take in $123 million in a single weekend in September.

Based on his 1986 suspense novel of the same name, the film follows a group of bullied kids in the town of Derry who join forces when a shapeshifter taking the appearance of an evil clown begins hunting down the children.

"It" also opened well overseas, grossing $62 million in 46 markets and posting the highest ever horror openings in the U.K., Brazil, Russia and Australia.

The weekend's other new nationwide offering was the romantic comedy Home Again underwhelmed with an estimated $9-M from 2,940 theaters to place # 2.

It had been expected to bring an end to the recent box office downturn, but nobody (not even Warner Bros) expected the film to deliver an opening weekend of this size. But, what managed to allure the mass waves of attendees is the "universality of the fear of clowns", according to comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

The Weinstein Co.'s Wind River rounded out the top five with $3.2-M for a domestic take of $25-M.

Horror movies aren't generally horror anymore. Gary Dauberman, one of the screenwriters on the new It, has quietly closed a deal to pen the screenplay for its sequel, and Andy Muschietti, who directed the new film, is waiting in the wings to return.

Many movies with well known titles and huge budgets, like "Transformers: The Last Knight", "The Mummy" and Warner's "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword", flopped when they failed to grab audience's attention as "It" did.

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