Begone, Pazuzu. The power of Pennywise compels you.
After three weeks in theaters, Warner Bros./New Line’s “It” has passed “The Exorcist” to become the highest grossing horror movie of all time. Between its 1973 release and two director’s cut re-releases, “The Exorcist” has grossed $232.9 million domestically. On Thursday, “It” grossed $3.9 million to push the film past that mark and to a total of $236.3 million.
Releasing in a month not known for generating big hits, “It” has bagged several box office records over the past three weeks. The next one will come when it hits $274 million, a total earned by “Gravity” in 2013. Once “It” reaches that mark, it will become the highest grossing film released between Labor Day and Nov. 1, a calendar period often considered to be a low period on the box office slate.
Of course, while “The Exorcist” is the most successful pure horror film, there are hybrid horror flicks that have made more. Foremost among them is the horror-thriller hybrid “The Sixth Sense, which made $293 million in 2001. “It” is expected by analysts to pass that mark and become only the fourth R-Rated film to gross more than $300 million domestically, joining “The Passion of the Christ,” “Deadpool” and “American Sniper.”
As for Warner Bros., the studio has now passed $1.5 billion in domestic grosses on the year after a recent hot streak of films that includes “Wonder Woman,” “Dunkirk,” and “Annabelle: Creation.” Combined with “It,” those films have grossed more than $920 million domestically.