Horror remake “IT” has smashed box office records in North America with an impressive $117.2 million debut.
The new adaptation of the Stephen King thriller, starring Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, the scary clown who haunts a small town, got off to strong start with Thursday night (07Sep17) previews, landing the biggest R-rated movie launch in history, with $13.5 million (£10.2 million). It beat the $12.7 million Deadpool grossed upon its launch in February, 2016.
The movie, directed by Andy Muschietti, continued to scare up a storm over the weekend (08-10Sep17), landing the highest-grossing horror film debut in history, as well as securing the title of the biggest September opening ever at the North American box office.
The respective records were previously held by Paranormal Activity 3, which scored $52.6 million in 2011, and the animated Hotel Transylvania 2, which raked in $48.5 million in 2015.
In addition, the weekend haul makes It the second-biggest launch for an R-rated project, behind Deadpool, which racked up a three-day gross of $132.4 million last year (16).
It was also a big hit with international audiences, adding another $62 million to take its global total to $179.2 million.
The classic clown tale easily overshadowed its closest box office competitor – Reese Witherspoon’s romantic comedy Home Again debuts in a distant second place with just $9 million, ahead of The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which falls to third place after leading the chart for three consecutive weekends.
Annabelle: Creation and Wind River round out the new top five in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Meanwhile, Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg’s independent terrorism drama 9/11 failed to draw much of an audience, grossing an estimated $162,540 for an average of $406 from 400 theaters.
– Cover Media0