Box Office Wrap Up: IT Dominates Box Office.
Stephen King’s IT smashed records and scared some life back into the weekend box office.
There’s no burying the lede here: IT was such a massive success this week that it’s practically the only thing worth talking about. The big screen adaptation of Stephen King‘s horror classic broke records in nearly every category available. It soared to a whopping 123 million dollars, even while hurricane Irma battered the south and shut down a large chunk of theaters. It’s been a month since the combined earnings of all films showing topped 100 million. It has been two months since any one film made more than 100 million. In three short days, IT not only passed those marks but it even surpassed Spider-Man: Homecoming and Wonder Woman‘s opening weekends. All this from an R-rated horror flick.
This Week in Box Office History.
The overall box office earnings were up 100% from last week, and up 22% historically. The increase in earnings is all attributable to IT. Of the total 157 million dollars taken in domestically this weekend, 74% of that money went to IT. If no other movie had shown in the US, the box office still would have been 40 million dollars higher than Labor Day weekend.
Part of the explanation for this huge take is that the first record IT broke was for number of theaters the film was shown in. IT just edged out Logan for the widest release of an R-rated film ever, showing in 4100 theaters. Had the hurricane not shut down Florida, that count would likely have been north of 4200. As it stood, this was still good enough to give IT the biggest opening of any film in September (easily blowing away second place by 70 million dollars), the biggest opening of any film in the whole fall season, the biggest opening of an R-rated horror film (more than doubling Paranormal Activity 3’s 52 million dollars), and the biggest opening of any horror film, full stop. (As a cool note, IT is already the 10th highest grossing horror film of all time…in just 3 days. It seems a lock that IT will pass Jaws as the all-time number one.)
Rated R for Revenue.
IT became the second highest R-Rated debut in history, falling just shy of scaring Deadpool off the top spot. The trend for big R-rated films has become eye-catching: of the top ten earning R-rated movies of all time, four released in the last 3 years and only two in the top ten are older than 2003. Deadpool, Logan, and now IT have paved the way for super-wide releases for the formerly taboo rating.
Top Three Movies.
Obviously the top spot went to Warner Brother’s adaptation of IT. At a staggering 123 million dollars on a 35 million dollar budget, IT easily floated past the competition. It was such an utter route that the separation between 1st and 2nd place was 114 million dollars – the 5th biggest span between the top two spots. The film got a surprisingly mild B+ from Cinemascore, and a similar 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. There isn’t much competition coming IT’s way, as I don’t think American Assassin has an ice cube’s chance in hell of surpassing it.
Second place went to Home Again, a romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon. It earned 9 million dollars, which is middling to low as far as the genre goes. The whole genre has been stagnant, with studios going to the well for stars and franchises, like Bridget Jones which also had a so-so debut this year.
The third position went to The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which added another roughly 5 million dollars to its 64 million cume. It has doubled its budget domestically, so I think we can expect Hollywood to pair Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds again in the future.
At the tail end of the top ten, we find Logan Lucky still struggling to make back its budget. That is a goddamn shame, since it is one of the best heist movies to come out in a long time, and that is genre that has fallen out of favor since the Ocean’s Eleven franchise closed shop. I really wanted a sequel to this film!
The other new film to release in more than 100 theaters was 9/11…and it did not fare well. It made just 120 thousand dollars in 425 theaters. That is 300 bucks a theater. I was curious about this drama set during the September 11th terror attacks, mostly because it had such a well structured trailer. I guess I better see it fast, because those numbers presage a quick retreat from the cinemas.
Top Ten Movies.
1. IT (123.1)
2. Home Again (9.0)
3. The Hitman’s Bodyguard (4.8)
4. Annabelle: Creation (4.0)
5. Wind River (3.2)
6. Leap! (2.5)
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2.0)
8. Dunkirk (1.8)
9. Logan Lucky (1.8)
10. The Emoji Movie (1.0)