The failure last month of THE DARK TOWER left industry observers wondering whether there was still a market for Stephen King adaptations. However, all of those doubts are long gone thanks to the record-breaking opening of Warner/New Line’s IT, which brought in an astonishing $123 million dollars. That is more than double the previous September record and by far, the best R-rated horror opening ever. This comes as a welcome relief to Hollywood following several of the lowest grossing weeks in memory. IT is yet another horror performer this year, and though it’s $35 million budget is very low by Hollywood standards, it is not as economical as the single digit costs of GET OUT and SPLIT.
The rest of the pack is more in line with what we saw in August. HOME AGAIN was $114 million behind in second place, with its $9 million total representing a weak opening for this Reese Witherspoon vehicle and another disappointment for struggling Open Road Films. THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD finished its three-week reign on the top of the charts, slipping to third place with $4.9 million. Another Warner/New Line horror effort, ANNABELLE: CREATION notched fourth place with $4 million and should soon cross the $100 million mark. WIND RIVER ended up in fifth, with $3.3 million and a solid $25 million to date for the $11 million production.
Competition has been pretty weak these past few weeks, but that is changing with the arrival of higher profile titles with more obvious potential. IT will likely repeat on top next weekend, but should face tougher competition from the new Jennifer Lawrence horror thriller MOTHER! and the actioner AMERICAN ASSASSIN. Open Road is countering with ALL I SEE IS YOU, which seems like another also ran for them.
The controversial 9/11, starring Charlie Sheen and Gina Gershon, was a total non-starter, finishing 31st with a dismal $121,000.
Data courtesy of Box Office Mojo.