Warner Bros./New Line’s “It: Chapter Two” has got the box office moving again after a sluggish couple of weeks. With the widest release ever for a horror film at 4,570 screens, this Stephen King adaptation earned a $91 million opening this weekend.
While that’s well below the horror record $123 million earned by the first “It” in 2017, “It: Chapter Two” does stand as the second-highest opening weekend in the history of the genre. That honor previously belonged to the 2018 revival of “Halloween,” which earned a $76 million opening in October 2018.
With a lower opening weekend and a higher budget — reported to be in the $70 million range — “It: Chapter Two” won’t have a theatrical run as profitable as its predecessor. But the sequel is still primed to be a winner for Warner Bros., which is looking to have a big autumn after a lackluster summer that saw films like “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and “The Kitchen” disappoint. The studio is hoping that “Chapter Two” will leg out through September similar to the performance of the first “It,” leading into an October where the Golden Lion-winning “Joker” could be the top grosser in a busy month.
While critics were less enthused with “It: Chapter Two” than the first film with a 64% Rotten Tomatoes score, audiences matched the CinemaScore grade of “It” with a B+, with Gen Z audiences giving it an A. Millennials were the primary audience for the film with CinemaScore demographics showing 25-35 being the top age group on opening night.
“It: Chapter Two” is making up 68% of total box office business this weekend, with the rest of the films in the top five grossing $3-5 million. Lionsgate/Millennium’s “Angel Has Fallen” is in second with $5.8 million in its third weekend, bringing its domestic total to $53.3 million. Universal’s “Good Boys” is just behind with $5.3 million in its fourth weekend and a $66.8 million total.
“The Lion King” is in fourth with $4.2 million in its eighth weekend, putting the Disney remake on the doorstep of $1.6 billion worldwide. The No. 5 spot is a virtual tie between Universal’s “Hobbs & Shaw” and Sony’s “Overcomer,” with the two films making around $3.7 million. “Hobbs & Shaw” has a domestic total of $164 million and a global total of $719 million after six weekends, while “Overcomer” has a domestic total of $24.5 million after three weekends.