Weekend Box Office: ‘It’ Scares Up Record $117.2M U.S. Bow, More Updates Later Today

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There is nothing clownish about It, which grossed a massive $117.2 million from 4,103 theaters in its North American box-office debut. New Line and Warner Bros.’ R-rated film adaptation of Stephen King’s  novel — about a group of misfit kids in the 1980s who battle the demonic Pennywise the Dancing Clown — jolted the domestic box office back to life after seven straight down weekends and the worst summer in recent memory.IT
It shattered numerous records, including landing the biggest start ever for a horror film or for a King adaptation. And it’s the biggest opening ever for the month of September, not to mention the third or fourth biggest of the year so far. The movie’s Friday take alone was bigger than the previous September crown holder, Hotel Transylvania 2, which pulled in $48.5 million for the three days.
Put another way: It turned into a movie for all audiences and not just younger horror fans. Roughly 55 percent of ticket buyers were over the age of 25.
“Pennywise has certainly brought big dollars back to the movie theater and not a moment too soon,” says comScore analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “Let’s face it, people love horror movies and within the darkened walls of a movie theater, the communal electricity that is created by a bunch of people being scared out of their wits  is almost as fun as the movie itself; this is why the film has obliterated expectations and is setting records.”
It‘s massive Friday haul of $51 million almost matched the opening weekend of Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.6 million), which was the previous record-holder for top horror opening.
The movie, starring Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, also nabbed the biggest Friday ever for an R-rated title, beating Deadpool‘s $47 million. (Deadpool went on to open to $132.4 million, however.) And its Thursday preview gross of $15.3 million was the best ever for an R-rated title (besting Deadpool at $12.7 million).
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Warner Bros.
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