‘It’ Smashes Box Office Records With $123 Million Opening

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Warner Bros./New Line’s “It” has performed beyond box office analysts’ wildest dreams — or nightmares — posting an opening weekend of $120 million from 4,103 screens. That gives it the third-highest opening weekend of 2017 behind only “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s famous novel will easily become the biggest opening for a film released in September or October and more than double the record set by “Hannibal” in 2001 for biggest horror movie opening.It” has become so big, it has come close to the record for the biggest opening for any R-Rated film, which is currently held by “Deadpool” with $132.4 million.

It is expected to fall short, however, due to theater closures in Houston and Florida due to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The closures are estimated by industry sources to account for a 5-6 percent drop in revenue.

Still, the success of “It” is some refreshing news for movie theaters, which haven’t had a movie with must-see status to screen since “Dunkirk” in mid-July. With no serious competition against it, “It” is estimated to account for around 75 percent of total revenue this weekend and has alone exceeded the $96.3 million made last weekend.

At the start of this past week, trackers expected “It” to make $60-65 million, which still would have made it the biggest September opening ever. But after positive reviews came in and gave the film an 88 percent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the projections were bumped to $80-90 million. After a Friday that saw “It” score the biggest preview numbers for an R-title and beat the September opening record in just one day, the hype and word-of-mouth for the film rolled from critics to audiences, who gave the film a B+ on CinemaScore. Strong social media activity took care of the rest. 

More to come…