September 2017 is looking to set a new record for box office grosses, thanks mainly to the outstanding performance of IT which has grossed over $266 million in the last three weeks. Overall, the month has a total of $595 million, $138.5 million ahead of the record breaking September 2015, which ended the month with $626.4 million. After a disastrous August, this is welcome news indeed with the yearly grosses now just 4.7% off from 2016.
That being said, this weekend was full of highs and lows in some surprising places. The highly anticipated Kingsman: The Golden Circle opened at Number 1 with just over $39 million, topping the opening weekend of the original by $3 million. The film also opened in 55 foreign markets, earning $61.2 million, giving the $104 million film a worldwide gross of $97.7 million.
Not living up to expectations were two other wide releases. The LEGO Ninjago Movie was hoping to meet industry expectations of anywhere between $27 million and $35 million, but without the wide appeal of Batman and other popular characters, the film could only manage a third place finish with $20.4 million. Overseas, the movie earned an additional $10 million.
Failing to come close to Entertainment Studios’ previous release 47 Meters Down ($11.2 million), the long on the shelf horror flick Friend Request could only scare up a a meager $2 million, good for seventh place. With no overseas release at this point, the film may struggle to earn back its $10 million budget.
Doing fairly well in a limited release, true life drama Stronger earned good reviews and a strong box office in Boston, earning $1.6 million on 573 screens, giving it a higher per screen average ($2,813) than the films in fourth through seventh place. The film is expected to add about 80 more screens next week, banking on the good word of mouth to give it a boost. Also in very limited release was another true life story, Battle of the Sexes (#16), which opened on 21 screens and earned $515,450 ($24,545 per screen). And the other true story, Victoria and Abdul (#26), opened on just 4 screens, earning $158,845 ($39,711 per screen).
With four new releases taking up space in the Top Ten, other films were on the move. IT dropped 50.5% in its third week, earning $29.7 million. Its domestic gross stands at $266 million with $212 million in foreign sales giving it a global total of $478 million. IT is now the highest grossing R-rated horror film of all time (not adjusted for inflation). American Assassin took a 60% hit in its second week, dropping two spots to Number 4 with $6.2 million. mother! continues to flounder, dropping 56% and two spots to Number 5 with nearly $3.3 million. The $30 million movie has earned just $13.4 million in two weeks.
Spider-Man: Homecoming finally exited the Top Ten, moving down to Number 11 with $1 million. With the additional $6 million from overseas markets, the movie is now the highest grossing superhero film worldwide in 2017, so far, with $874.3 million, topping Wonder Woman‘s $820.3 million and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s $863.4 million.
Annabelle: Creation also left the Top Ten after seven weeks, finally crossing the $100 million mark domestically with $101.1 million. Globally, the horror flick has earned $295.2 million.
The weekend of September 29 will see the expansion of Battle of the Sexes and the wide releases of the Flatliners remake (which is not being screened for critics) and American Made, which could put into question the career status of Tom Cruise. After the disappointing domestic reaction to The Mummy, another failure right after could severely tarnish his box office status.
Below are the Top Ten grosses for the weekend of September 22.
4.  –2– American Assassin – $6,255,617 [$26,185,076]
8. [N] –1– Stronger – $1,611,899 [NEW]
[#] Last week’s position. [N] New in theaters. – # – Weeks in theaters. ★ HOTCHKA review | Source: Box Office Mojo