Tag Archives: IT

Stephen King’s ‘It’ Officially Opens to Massive $123 Million

The New Line and Warner Bros. adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is officially shattering box office records during its opening weekend. The R-rated horror film made a whopping $123.1 million from 4,103 locations, as of Monday morning. On Sunday, the studio gave a more cautious estimate of $117.2 million, taking into account the potential effects of Hurricane Irma and the NFL. So “It” officially has the third-largest opening weekend of 2017, more than “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which made $117 million. Only “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” earned more this year. Imax screens accounted for $6.7 million of the total.


“There’s something really special about the story itself, the way the movie was made, and the marketing,” Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief at Warner Bros said on Sunday. “The stars aligned on this, and we still have some room to grow for the weekend.”

“It” earned a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 87% and a B+ CinemaScore. Its gender breakdown is reportedly 51% female and 49% male. About two thirds of the audience has been over 25 years old.

“It’s” opening is mostly unprecedented, crushing the record for largest September debut set by “Hotel Transylvania 2” in 2015 with $48.5 million, and the biggest opening weekend banked by a horror or supernatural film — “Paranormal Activity 3” earned $52.6 million in 2011. When it comes to R-rated movie launches, “It” falls only to “Deadpool,” which changed the game in 2016 with a massive $132.4 million opening. This, during a weekend when Hurricane Irma threatens huge portions of Florida and Georgia, which could dent attendance by as much as 5%.

In addition to its domestic grosses, the horror hit is expected to pull in $62 million from 46 markets overseas, giving “It” a $185 million global debut. That’s a huge win for a movie with an estimated $35 million production budget.

Horror films often have lower budgets than other more CGI-dense blockbusters, so the return on investment has potential to be massive. Goldstein said the genre is one that New Line particularly excels in, and there is potential to see more horror in the future if the right story comes along. “If we were able to find more films in this genre, we’d be thrilled to make them,” he said.


Box Office: Stephen King’s ‘It’ Officially Opens to Massive $123 Million

There Will Be a Sequel to the ‘It’ Movie

The new reboot of Stephen King’s “It” hasn’t even opened in theaters, but director Andy Muschiettiis already planning for the next installment. The sequel is a near-certainty since King’s book switches off between two storylines, and it’s already known that the film that opens Friday focuses more on the child characters.

Though it has always been planned as a two-part story, Warner Bros. isn’t emphasizing the two movies in marketing materials. Perhaps the studio learned from “The Dark Tower,” which was planned as a movie, TV series and more, but fizzled after the first film disappointed.

However, the movie itself leaves plenty of room for a sequel, not to mention the fact that the title card at the end of the film (MILD SPOILER ALERT) reads “It: Chapter One.”


The novel “It” follows a group of children known as “the Losers Club” as they battle the evil force known as Pennywise, then follows up with another battle with the creature 30 years later. While the 1990 miniseries adaptation directly follows the plot of King’s novel, including interdimensional travel (Carey Fukunaga’s original script for the reboot reportedly included a dimension portal), Muschietti’s version is much more grounded and does away with the weird otherworldliness…at least for now.


Muschietti told Variety that he doesn’t think of the next film as a sequel, more like the second half of a single story and that’s he’s prepared to helm this project as well.

“I really wanted to focus on the emotional journey of the group of kids. Getting in to that other dimension — the other side — was something that we could introduce in the second part,” Muschietti said in an interview with Yahoo Movies. “In the book the perspective of the writing… is always with the Losers, so everything they know about Pennywise is very speculative and shrouded in absurdity, so I wanted to respect that mystery feeling of not knowing what’s on the other side.”

“It” is expected to break the record for biggest opening weekend of a non-sequel, R-rated horror film, currently held by “The Conjuring,” which debuted to $41 million in 2013.


Yes, There Will Be a Sequel to the ‘It’ Movie

With the First Trailer for It, Stephen King Reclaims the ’80s

WHEN STEPHEN KING’S horror novel It came out in 1986, the book’s arrival was part publishing event, part worldwide dare: Weighing in at 1,138 pages and carrying a then-shocking sticker price of $22.95, King’s epic was a backpack- and budget-busting time-sucker that many readers dragged around for months on end, and that others abandoned before the 50-page mark. So it wasn’t until a few years later, when ABC broadcast a hugely successful two-night TV version, that It crept out of the sewer and into mainstream consciousness, thanks in large part to Tim Curry’s giddily nasty portrayal of Pennywise, the killer clown who torments a group of friends from the 1950s through the ’80s. The four-hour It remains a goony delight, full of blood-splattering balloons and creepy-crawly fortune cookies and genuine intra-character connection. And even though the whole thing wound down with a campy killer-spider attack—and was forced to adhere to prime-time standards—the TV version of It still mostly floats.


That’s something you can’t say for a lot of the horror-leaning King adaptations that dominated movie screens and video-store shelves throughout the ’80s, films that ranged from scarily great (The Shining and Carrie, obviously, but also underrated thrillers like Christine) to garbage-y great (the hare-brained schlock-fest Maximum Overdrive) to straight-up children-of-the-corny (Silver Bullet, Firestarter). With a few exceptions, those initial King-flicks emphasized the author’s love of EC-inspired scares and pulpy melodrama, and made only cursory nods to the more adult issues beneath, from alienation to addiction to abandonment. This changed a bit in the mid-’90s, as filmmakers finally started taking King’s spookier works more seriously, first through a series of post-It TV-movies (The Stand, The Shining), and eventually with films like the unsettling, nightmare-feeding version of The Mist.

But a lot of King’s Reagan-era efforts never quite got the fully grown-up, properly budgeted treatment they deserved—which is why so many people, myself included, are excited for the new theatrical version of It, the first trailer for which debuted today. The two-minute-plus glimpse focuses on the book’s terrifying first few pages, in which a young boy named Georgie heads out into the rain with a brand-new paper boat made by his older brother, Bill (played by Midnight Special’s Jaeden Wesley Lieberher). When the boat heads into the sewer, the story claims its first major victim—and we get our first look at the shadowy Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård).

Shortly after Georgie’s death, Bill and his small group of pals, nicknamed the Losers’ Club, realize that their hometown of Derry, Maine has an uncommonly high death rate, and ultimately discover that Pennywise has them in his sights. The teaser is full of ominous moments, all of them briefly glimpsed: A red balloon floating through a library; a swarm of hands trying desperately to open a door to exit a burning building; black ooze exploding from a bathroom faucet.

But there’s not a lot of Pennywise to be found in this first teaser, which is a promising sign. Thirty years ago, a Stephen King monster would have been the front-and-center selling point for an adaptation like this, yet director Andrés Muschietti—who last worked on the 2013 hit Mama, and who joined It after True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga abandoned ship—appears to be favoring slow-reveal dread over the low-end shock that dominated movies like Creepshow 2. The teaser’s scariest moment features no gore or gotcha-ness; instead, it involves a misfiring slide-projector and a barely discernible clown-grin. Nothing in the It trailer feels like a cheap thrill, which is all the more thrilling.

Yet there’s another, slightly more subtle reason to get excited for this latest take on It, especially for long-time King-lovers. As if you couldn’t tell from the trailer’s surplus supply of ringer tees and station wagons and latchkey kids, the new adaptation begins in the ’80s—a move that resettles King’s characters to the decade that both confirmed his super-star stature, and nearly ravaged his big-screen reputation. For some viewers, that may give the trailer a distinct Stranger Things vibe (which is fitting, given that King’s DNA was all over that show). But for those who always hoped that the author’s earlier scare-fests would finally be elevated beyond just a few gory big-screen jolts, it’s more proof that, after all these years, Stephen King may finally get the ’80s movie he always deserved.