New Line Cinema’s “It” scored a huge $123 million opening in the final box office tally, after the studio had initially estimated an opening of $117.2 million on Sunday.
The film adaptation of Stephen King’s famous novel took the third-largest opening weekend of 2017, just behind “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” However, “It” managed to surpass “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which made $117 million.
“It” also broke various records over the weekend. It landed the biggest horror opening of all time, surpassing “Paranormal Activity 3” ($52.6 million). It also became the biggest September debut of all time, beating “Hotel Transylvania 2,” which earned $48.5 million in in 2015. Lastly, “It” became so big that it scored the biggest opening for an R-rated film, a record which was previously held by “Deadpool” with $132.4 million.
Initially, it was expected to fall short because of theater closures in Houston and Florida due to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The closures were estimated by industry sources to account for a 5-6 percent drop in revenue.
At the start of the 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 86 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.
“It” stars Bill Skarsgard as the infamous Pennywise the Clown. The cast is rounded out by Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff and Nicholas Hamilton. Andy Muschietti directed.