Stephen King’s ‘It’ Has Not Only Been A Powerhouse At The Domestic Box Office, But Overseas It Is Also KING With $600M+


The Warner Bros. R-rated film “It” in the the United States is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, both in making them and also in consuming them. No other country comes close to producing the number of scary pictures the U.S. makes, to spending the amount of money it spends on funding them, and especially to grossing what its horror films generate at the global box office.


The latest example of America’s superpower status in horror is the New Line/Warner Bros. smash hit It, which has set new records in the domestic market with a $305 million cume so far, while also taking the overseas markets by storm with another $300+ million, and with a few more major territories still to be terrified.


Horror films tend to work differently around the world than do films from other genres like, say, superhero movies or sci-fi blockbusters. For one thing, the budgets are typically much smaller. A Blumhouse scare-fest like Get Out or Split will typically cost just $5 to $10 million (at most) to produce, and yet can scare up $250 million and more in global box office, as both these films did, making horror films the highest ROI investments a movie studio can hope to make.



Horror films also travel differently than films of other genres do. For one thing, the huge China market, which now accounts for nearly 20% of global theatrical box office receipts, is a giant black hole when it comes to horror. Censorship restrictions there prohibit the blood, gore, terror and supernatural thrills that are American horror’s stock in trade, so the global distribution pattern for horror skews in a unique way.



Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  Warner Bros.
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd