Box Office

Weekend Box Office: ‘IT’ Feasts on the Competition

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Two new films proved to be no match for Pennywise the Clown this weekend at the North America box office. Warner/New Line’s IT had another fantastic session while American Assassin targeted mild numbers and mother! only added to the multiplex woes that continue to haunt Paramount Pictures.

Defying the 60-70% second week drop usually associated with films in the horror genre, IT fell only 51% from its record debut numbers to bag an estimated $60 million from 4,148 theaters. The ten-day total for the blockbuster adaptation of the Stephen King novel now stands at $218 million. With stellar word-of-mouth from first week crowds turning IT into something of a must-see event, IT should be able to work its way to an incredible $325 million by the end of its run.

IT is also taking a serious bite out of the international box office as well. The feature scared up $60.3 million from overseas markets this weekend to help bring its foreign total to $153 million so far.

Pre-inflation, IT is only a few days away from becoming Warner’s biggest horror film of all time. That title is currently held by 1973’s The Exorcist, which has a lifetime unadjusted gross of $232.9 million. However, it’s a bit of a different story once the numbers for the William Friedkin classic are adjusted for inflation. In today’s dollars, The Exorcist’s lifetime total is $917 million, a number IT will not come close to no matter how well it holds up at the box office.

Arriving in second place with an okay $14.8 million from 3,154 theaters was the Lionsgate/CBS Films’ action thriller American Assassin. The $33 million Michael Keaton/Dylan O’Brien production scored low marks from the press – 35% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 46/100 from Metacritic- and moderate marks from ticket buyers, who gave the feature a “B+” on CinemaScore.

However mild those numbers for American Assassin are, they would be considered through the roof for the number three film in the country, Paramount’s mother!. Despite decent notices from critics, the best that mother! could manage from 2,368 theaters was a poor $7.5 million. The dismal opening numbers for mother! are the lowest to date for a Jennifer Lawrence film in wide release.

The latest film from Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky scored a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 75/100 from Metacritic. Ticket buyers, however, showed no love for the psychological thriller, quickly disowning the $30 million production. They gave the Lawrence flick a deadly “F” grade on CinemaScore. mother! joins an elite handful of features that have been branded with that failing grade, among them the 2002 remake of Solaris and the Lindsay Lohan Torture Porn flick I Know Who Killed Me.

In fourth place was the Reese Witherspoon romcom Home Again with an estimated $5.3 million from 3,036 theaters. Off 37%, Home Again has $17.1 million after ten days of release. A $27 million final gross is possible.

Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard rounded out the top five with an estimated $3.5 million from 3,272 theaters. After five weeks, the Ryan Reynolds/Samuel L. Jackson action comedy has gunned down $71 million.

  1. Annabelle: Creation (Warner) $2.6 million (-35%); $99.9 million
  2. Wind River (Weinstein) $2.55 million (-18%); $29.1 million
  3. Leap! (Weinstein) $2.11 million (-13%); $18.6 million
  4. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony/Marvel) $1.87 million (7%); $330.2 million
  5. Dunkirk (Warner) $1.3 million (-30%); $185.1 million

Next weekend brings the debuts of Warner’s animated The LEO Ninjago Movie, the Fox sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle and the low-budget horror flick Friend Request. While IT will continue to be a big draw, don’t be surprised if either Ninjago or the Kingsman sequel land in first place.

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