Stephen King’s “IT” is smashing records at the box office. The New Line and Warner Bros. adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is officially shattering box office records during its opening weekend. The R-rated horror film made a whopping $123.1 million from 4,103 locations, as of Monday morning. On Sunday, the studio gave a more cautious estimate of $117.2 million, taking into account the potential effects of Hurricane Irma and the NFL. So “It” officially has the third-largest opening weekend of 2017, more than “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which made $117 million. Only “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” earned more this year. Imax screens accounted for $6.7 million of the total.
“There’s something really special about the story itself, the way the movie was made, and the marketing,” Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief at Warner Bros said on Sunday. “The stars aligned on this, and we still have some room to grow for the weekend.”
“It” earned a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 87% and a B+ CinemaScore. Its gender breakdown is reportedly 51% female and 49% male. About two thirds of the audience has been over 25 years old.
“It’s” opening is mostly unprecedented, crushing the record for largest September debut set by “Hotel Transylvania 2” in 2015 with $48.5 million, and the biggest opening weekend banked by a horror or supernatural film — “Paranormal Activity 3” earned $52.6 million in 2011. When it comes to R-rated movie launches, “It” falls only to “Deadpool,” which changed the game in 2016 with a massive $132.4 million opening. This, during a weekend when Hurricane Irma threatens huge portions of Florida and Georgia, which could dent attendance by as much as 5%.
In addition to its domestic grosses, the horror hit is expected to pull in $62 million from 46 markets overseas, giving “It” a $185 million global debut. That’s a huge win for a movie with an estimated $35 million production budget.
Horror films often have lower budgets than other more CGI-dense blockbusters, so the return on investment has potential to be massive. Goldstein said the genre is one that New Line particularly excels in, and there is potential to see more horror in the future if the right story comes along. “If we were able to find more films in this genre, we’d be thrilled to make them,” he said.