Tag Archives: stephen king

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

Idris Elba slays in new preview for Stephen King’s The Dark Tower

The first bullseye The Dark Tower movie hit was casting its lead: Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, the last of the knights known as gunslingers, a lost man wandering an apocalyptic wasteland in search of the Man in Black, whose next stop on his march of destruction is our world.

The casting choice by director Nikolaj Arcel was a change from the novels. Stephen King had envisioned a Clint Eastwood-style, blue-eyed, white man as his six-shooting knight, but the author has applauded the choice of Elba for the lead character in his epic saga. Tough is tough; it doesn’t have a color.

Sunday during the BET Awards, Sony Pictures aired a new teaser for the Aug. 4 fantasy adventure that focused on the Mandela and Beasts of No Nation actor — and the royal legacy of his hero in The Dark Tower, a man seeking justice… although revenge will do, if that’s all that’s available.


In the story, the tower is a mythic structure at the nexus of all space and time. Its levels constitute different worlds and realities, and our world is stacked among them — a critical building block, actually. Matthew McConaughey’s magic-wielding Man in Black wants to bring it down, collapsing the worlds on each other and allowing his trapped master, the Crimson King, to be freed to rule them.


He needs others with power — like Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), a boy from present-day New York who possesses a psychic ability known as a “shine” (an obvious homage to another classic King novel). By harnessing people with this strength, the Man in Black can use them to break through the dimensions and attack the tower.

So, by protecting the boy, Roland the Gunslinger is protecting these worlds. He does not hesitate to draw his irons to save Jake. He does wonder if we have guns and ammunition here — though he’s certain such weaponry is difficult to acquire and only available to the highly trained.

For more on the upcoming film, read Entertainment Weekly‘s profile of Elba from our visit to The Dark Tower set, and check out our full coverage of the Stephen King adaptation.


Idris Elba slays in new preview for Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’

The Dark Tower Movie Trailer 2017

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.



Stephen King, Owen King Pen Thriller about a World without Women

Stephen King is no stranger to the art form of thriller fiction, but he’s also no stranger to controversy. His essay on gun control garnered a lot of attention, much of it loud and rage-filled, but he stood by his position on the need for common sense in the discussion surrounding freedoms and safety.

Now, along with his son Owen, King is writing a thriller called Sleeping Beauties, a twisted alternate now in which women fall victim to a strange “sleeping disease.”

King’s website features the following synopsis of Sleeping Beauties: “In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place…The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain?”

The controversy over books such as this one brings out the haters and internet trolls any time a seemingly innocuous news item about equal rights comes up. In this case, following on the heels of a season of mass protests around the world, some people will inevitably feel that Sleeping Beauties hits too close to home. After all, the recent Day without a Woman protests that were mocked around the US were just an inkling of what happens when half the population is no longer a part of life. If his past controversial writings and political statements are any indication, this new book will take a stab at quite a number of high-profile and anger-inducing beliefs.

Sleeping Beauties is scheduled for release from Scribner in September.



22 lessons from Stephen King on how to be a great writer

Renowned author Stephen King has written over 50 books that have captivated millions of people around the world.

In his memoir, “On Writing,” King shares valuable insights into how to be a better writer. And he doesn’t sugarcoat it. He writes, “I can’t lie and say there are no bad writers. Sorry, but there are lots of bad writers.”

Don’t want to be one of them? Here are 22 great pieces of advice from King’s book on how to be an amazing writer.

Stop watching television. Instead, read as much as possible.

If you’re just starting out as a writer, your television should be the first thing to go. It’s “poisonous to creativity,” he says. Writers need to look into themselves and turn toward the life of the imagination.

To do so, they should read as much as they can. King takes a book with him everywhere he goes, and even reads during meals. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot,” he says. Read widely, and constantly work to refine and redefine your own work as you do so.

2. Prepare for more failure and criticism than you think you can deal with.

King compares writing fiction to crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub, because in both, “there’s plenty of opportunity for self-doubt.” Not only will you doubt yourself, but other people will doubt you, too. “If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all,” writes King.

Oftentimes, you have to continue writing even when you don’t feel like it. “Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea,” he writes. And when you fail, King suggests that you remain positive. “Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.” 

3. Don’t waste time trying to please people.

According to King, rudeness should be the least of your concerns. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered anyway,” he writes. King used to be ashamed of what he wrote, especially after receiving angry letters accusing him of being bigoted, homophobic, murderous, and even psychopathic.

By the age of 40, he realized that every decent writer has been accused of being a waste of talent. King has definitely come to terms with it. He writes, “If you disapprove, I can only shrug my shoulders. It’s what I have.” You can’t please all of your readers all the time, so King advises that you stop worrying. 

4. Write primarily for yourself.

You should write because it brings you happiness and fulfillment. As King says, “I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.”

Writer Kurt Vonnegut provides a similar insight: “Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about,” he says. “It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.”

Tackle the things that are hardest to write.

“The most important things are the hardest things to say,” writes King. “They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings.” Most great pieces of writing are preceded with hours of thought. In King’s mind, “Writing is refined thinking.”

When tackling difficult issues, make sure you dig deeply. King says, “Stories are found things, like fossils in the ground … Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world.” Writers should be like archaeologists, excavating for as much of the story as they can find.

6. When writing, disconnect from the rest of the world.

Writing should be a fully intimate activity. Put your desk in the corner of the room, and eliminate all possible distractions, from phones to open windows. King advises, “Write with the door closed; rewrite with the door open.”

You should maintain total privacy between you and your work. Writing a first draft is “completely raw, the sort of thing I feel free to do with the door shut — it’s the story undressed, standing up in nothing but its socks and undershorts.”

7. Don’t be pretentious.

“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones,” says King. He compares this mistake to dressing up a household pet in evening clothes — both the pet and the owner are embarrassed, because it’s completely excessive.

As iconic businessman David Ogilvy writes in a memo to his employees, “Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.” Furthermore, don’t use symbols unless necessary. “Symbolism exists to adorn and enrich, not to create an artificial sense of profundity,” writes King.

8. Avoid adverbs and long paragraphs.

As King emphasizes several times in his memoir, “the adverb is not your friend.” In fact, he believes that “the road to hell is paved with adverbs” and compares them to dandelions that ruin your lawn. Adverbs are worst after “he said” and “she said” — those phrases are best left unadorned.

You should also pay attention to your paragraphs, so that they flow with the turns and rhythms of your story. “Paragraphs are almost always as important for how they look as for what they say,” says King. 

Read the Full Story @