Warner Bros./New Line’s “It” is now the highest grossing September release ever after making $60 million in its second weekend. That gives the film a ten-day total of $218 million and puts it well on pace to become only the fourth R-rated movie to gross over $300 million domestically.
The September record was previously held by “Crocodile Dundee,” which made $174.8 million in 1984.
“It” has given WB another big hit to continue the strong performance the studio has shown at the box office with films like “Wonder Woman” and “Dunkirk,” while the studio’s other horror film currently in theaters, “Annabelle: Creation,” will pass the $100 million domestic mark on Monday. “It” has also helped the domestic box office recover from a terrible August, moving the year-to-date deficit from 6.5 percent behind 2016’s pace to 5.5 percent.
But while audiences are flocking to see Pennywise, many want no part of Paramount’s line-crossing horror competitor, “mother!”, which is estimated to finish well below its $11 million pre-weekend projections with a $7.5 million opening from 2,368 screens against a $30 million budget.
Darren Aronofsky’s provocative horror film featured a quartet of top stars, including Michelle Pfeiffer and Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role, and had some critics on its side with a 68 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. But the film’s F grade on CinemaScore and poor word-of-mouth surrounding the film’s uncomfortably violent climax has made “mother!” the worst wide release opening of Lawrence’s career.
Between the two horror films sits Lionsgate/CBS Films’ “American Assassin,” which made a solid $14.8 million from 3,154 screens against a $33 million budget. The Dylan O’Brien/Michael Keaton action flick is on the same pace as the original “John Wick,” which made $14 million in its opening and went on to gross $43 million domestically. “American Assassin” has a 36 percent RT score and a B+ on CinemaScore.
Completing the top 5 this weekend is Open Road’s “Home Again” with $5.3 million in its second weekend and Lionsgate’s “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” with $3.5 million