The box office roared back to life thanks to the opening weekend of the highly anticipated It, which had initially been tracking to an $80 million opening weekend which was then revised to a $117 million opening. In the end, everyone was way off as the R-rated horror flick earned a massive $123.4 million, shattering box office records along the way.
It now holds the record for the largest September opening, the largest fall opening (even though it’s still seasonally summer), the largest opening for an R-rated horror film, the largest opening for any horror film regardless of the rating, and is now the fifth highest grossing horror film of all time after just three days. It also had the largest opening for an R-rated film and had the second highest gross for an R-rated film behind Deadpool‘s $132.4 million. The previous two record holders for September and fall now look puny by comparison. The previous September record holder was Hotel Transylvania 2 with $48.5 million, and Gravity held the record for a fall opening with $55.7 million, and even combined their still almost $20 million away from It. And all this while an entire state dealt with Hurricane Irma. Playing on 4,103 screens, It had an average of $30,076 per screen.
Internationally, It brought in an estimated $62 million in 46 markets with the largest opening weekend for a horror film in the U.K., Russia, Australia, Brazil, Netherlands, and Poland. The film has yet to open in Sweden, Mexico, France, Argentina, Germany and Italy.
While most movie-goers were enjoying the scares, a few more went for the counter-programming of Open Road Films which opened the Reese Witherspoon rom-com Home Again on 2,940 screens. The film took the Number 2 spot with $8.5 million, about $115 million behind It, the fourth largest gap between first and second place in box office history.
With It and Home Again taking up the top two spots, everything else fell … hard. In the Top Ten, the unluckiest was Logan Lucky which saw its fortunes decrease by nearly 59%, falling four spots to Number 9 with $1.82 million. Not far behind was Dunkirk which dropped 57%, moving down two spots to Number 8 with $1.86 million. The Hitman’s Bodyguard was displaced to third place (-54%) with $4.8 million, and The Emoji Movie was also pushing a 54% drop, moving down one spot to Number 10 with $1.1 million. Wind River added 288 screens but it still wasn’t enough to fight off Pennywise, dropping 50% to fifth place with $3.1 million.
With It and Annabelle: Creation to their credit, Warner Bros. & New Line Cinema are raking in the dough from their horror films (prompting many to say now is the time for them to revive Jason Voorhees and Freddy Kruger). Annabelle: Creation slipped 47%, down two to Number 4 with $4 million and a domestic total of $96.2 million. Globally, the film has earned $280.7 million on a $15 million budget. By comparison It is reported to have cost $35 million. They say a film needs to recoup at least three times its budget to be considered profitable, so both films are showing a profit and proving it’s not necessary to spend $150 million+ to make a successful movie. (Home Again‘s budget was about $15 million.)
Spider-Man: Homecoming held on to seventh place again with $2 million. Domestically, the 10-week old movie has earned $327.6 million, and added to its $495.3 million international gross, the movie has a global total of $823 million, surpassing Wonder Woman‘s $816.3 million. And with its $933,240 weekend earnings domestically and $6.2 million internationally, Despicable Me 3 pushed past the $1 billion mark globally this weekend, the third 2017 release to hit that milestone behind Beauty and the Beast and The Fate of the Furious. Wonder Woman with a $410.5 million domestic total is now the fifth largest superhero release of all time, bumping Iron Man 3 to sixth place (Spider-Man: Homecoming is fifteenth; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is ninth).
With such huge numbers, we can expect to see It fall a bit in its second week (Annabelle: Creation dropped 55% in week two), but it should hold on to first place against wide release newcomers American Assassin and mother! On September 22, it will face another horror flick, Friend Request, and the highly anticipated Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
Below are the Top Ten grosses for the weekend of September 8.
6.  –3– Leap! – $2,443,405 [$15,817,841]
[#] Last week’s position. [N] New in theaters. – # – Weeks in theaters. ★ HOTCHKA review | Source: Box Office Mojo