Box office trackers are extremely bullish on Warner Bros./New Line’s “It,” saying the horror film will bring good news to a movie industry in great need following a miserable August.
Last week, the first round of tracking had the remake of Stephen King’s seminal horror tale making $50 million in its opening weekend. Now, those numbers have floated up to $60 million, a figure that would give “It” the biggest theatrical debut in horror movie history as well as the biggest opening for any film released in September.
The record currently belongs to “Hannibal,” which made $58 million in its opening weekend in 2001. Second on the list is “Paranormal Activity 3,” which made a $52.5 million opening in 2011. The September record belongs to “Hotel Transylvania 2” with $48.4 million in 2015.
What would make this new record particularly impressive is the film’s R rating, which, aside from the films listed above, tend to weigh down a horror film’s box office performance. Aside from “Hannibal” and “Paranormal Activity 3,” there are no horror films among the top 25 biggest R-rated openings. To find another horror film, you have to go down to No. 33 on the list, which is held by “The Conjuring” with $41.8 million.
Because of its rating and release slot, studio sources at WB say they’re remaining cautious about the tracking numbers and would consider an opening over $35 million a success. That would match the performance set by the “Conjuring” films, which last week passed $1 billion in combined box office business.
But the terrifying trailers for “It,” which feature Bill Skarsgard as the infamous Pennywise the Clown, have become viral hits on YouTube, with the teaser trailer currently holding 31 million views. That early hype has only snowballed as the summer has gone on, and a strong critical reception could cement its status as fright-filled hit.
“It” arrives in theaters Sept. 8.