There was only one story this weekend at the box office, and it involved a clown and balloons, but it wasn’t celebrating anything except its massive box office. The adaptation of Stephen King’s horror thriller IT Chapter 2 is coming in at around $91 million. The good news is that it’s the second-best opening ever for a September movie and for a horror film. The bad news is it’s well behind the biggest opening ever in September and the highest grossing horror opening of all time, which is its predecessor, IT ($123 million).
Still, even down $30 million from the original, Chapter 2 has plenty to be thankful for even if the budget was around double what it was for the first film ($70 million to $35 million). Namely, in addition to the $90 million opening stateside, it’s looking at around $94 million overseas, which means IT Chapter 2 is pushing $200 million and will probably be there by end-of-business Monday. The franchise can add that to the $700 million the first made globally.
The second film may have faltered some because the reviews weren’t as good (66 percent to 86 percent for the original), although audiences are giving it a similar Cinemascore (B+). The $30 million drop off may also have something to do with the fact that Chapter 2 is nearly three hours long. Honestly, a few moviegoers may have also stayed away from the sequel because the first movie scared them so badly. Despite the drop, it’s hard to see this as anything but a huge success for New Line Cinema, and because there’s no planned third installment, the studio doesn’t have to worry about continued fall off or franchise fatigue.
Pennywise, meanwhile, dragged everything else in the top ten this weekend into the sewer. No other film even mustered double digits (although, there were no other new releases, because studios wisely stayed clear of IT Chapter 2). Gerard Butler’s Angel Has Fallen led the leader of the box office Losers club this weekend, earning $6 million to bring its total to $53 million. Good Boys dropped a place but held pretty well, falling only 32 percent while adding $5.6 million to bring its total to $67 million.
In its eighth week, Lion King is still holding steady at number four, earning $4.7 million to bring its domestic total to $530 million and close to $1.6 billion dollars worldwide (it is still well short of Avengers: Endgame’s $868 million for the top grossing film of 2019). Hobbs & Shaw has inched up to $164 million after earning another $3.7 million. It’s also earned around $700 million worldwide. With another $3.6 million, the faith-based Overcomer has overcome its $5 million budget to earn $24 million. Ready Or Not continues to hang in, adding $2.7 million to bring its three-week total to $26 million.
Peanut Butter Falcon rose a couple of spots in the standings, although its box office dropped slightly. It’s earned $2.4 million to bring its total to $12.4 million. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood eked out another week in the top ten, earning $2.3 million to bring its seven-week total to $134.5 million. Finally, Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark is closing out its run, earning $2.2 million to finish at around $62 million.
Next week, neither of the two new releases are expected to bring down Pennywise, but Hustlers starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu could do some damage. Meanwhile, it is unclear what to expect at the box office from The Goldfinch, based on the Donna Tartt novel. I’m mostly surprised someone managed to whittle the behemoth-sized book down to a two and a half hour film.