Box Office Wrap Up: IT Wacks American Assassin.
The horror movie phenomenon IT continues to beat expectations as American Assassin settles for second place.
It was a second strong weekend in a row for Hollywood. The box office seems to be reviving, led by the strong performance of Warner Brother’s adaptation of Stephen King’s IT, which continues to break records with remarkable ease. Unlike last weekend, other boats also rose on the tide of viewers that IT is bringing to the cinema. While Darren Aronofsky’s surreal horror drama Mother! had a horrible no good weekend, American Assassin performed well for an espionage action flick. If this week’s releases, Kingsman 2 and LEGO Ninjago, can manage to keep pace we could be looking at a resurgent box office.
This Week in Box Office History.
This week’s total take of 112 million dollars is down from last week’s record breaking weekend, but that was to be expected. It would take another surprise blockbuster to equal the kind of debut IT had last week. Overall this week had one of the strongest totals for a September weekend, up 23% versus last year’s total. The overall take for September is still up in the air. While IT has put up the biggest numbers of any September release, it pretty much stands alone. Last year there were 5 films with more than 50 million dollars in earnings in September. This year there is only one: IT. As it stands, IT is the highest grossing movie to debut in September, taking the title from 1986’s Crocodile Dundee.
Top Three Films.
First place remained firmly in IT’s creepy clown hands. Adding 60 million dollars to its domestic total, this film continues to steamroll towards becoming the biggest R-rated horror film in history – it needs just 20 million dollars more to pass The Exorcist. It seems increasingly likely that it can reach 300 million dollars domestically, which is enough to put it over Jaws as the highest grossing horror film of any rating. That’s a record with some real teeth!
Second place went to American Assassin, which brought in just shy of 15 million dollars. While it may not be a runaway success, it is a very respectable number for an assassin flick. It managed to top John Wick‘s debut from 2014, and compares favorably to other hitmen movies such as The American (13 million), 3 Days to Kill (12 million), and The Mechanic (11 million).
Third place went to Darren Aronofsky’s oddball horror/drama Mother! The film managed to take in 7.5 million dollars against a 30 million dollar budget. It’s hard to gauge the expectations for this film: while this is easily the worst debut for a film starring Jennifer Lawrence, it is actually the second best opening for director Aronofsky. Besides the equally commercially disappointing Noah (45 million against a 125 million dollar budget), Mother! compares well against his smaller films like The Fountain (3 million) and Black Swan (1.5 million). Of course, those films premiered in a much more limited fashion – which may have been a smarter move for Mother! since it was competing against IT.
Very little changed for the rest of the top ten films. The Hitman’s Bodyguard continues to earn steadily in fifth place, adding 3 million to its 70 million dollar total domestically. Wind River has made the jump to wide release effectively, taking sixth place and notching nearly 30 million dollars against its 11 million dollar budget. Finally, Annabelle Creation had fared well despite being in a genre dominated by IT as of late. It has a cumulative domestic take just a hair under 100 million dollars, which is fantastic compared to its 15 million dollar price tag.