It is looking to be one of the most successful horror films of recent years, and if the current box office projections are correct, it will likely have the best opening weekend of any movie in the genre ever made.
The new adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel is currently projected to make somewhere between $55 million and $70 million in its opening weekend. It was originally thought to be on track for an opening weekend of around $50 million, but those projections have risen over the past few weeks, and it now no longer seems unreasonable that it could hit $70 million.
If the movie falls anywhere in that realm, it would end up having the biggest opening weekend for any horror film ever. Currently, that title belongs to Paranormal Activity 3, which took in $52 million in its opening weekend in 2011. It seems rather unlikely at this point that It will be unable to surpass this. If the definition of horror is expanded slightly, the biggest opening weekend in the genre would be that of 2001’s Hannibal, which grossed $58 million, but that’s really more of a thriller than a straight horror film. Still, It will likely end up beating Hannibal anyway.
A gross of around $60 million is pretty extraordinary for a horror movie. For comparison, Annabelle: Creation, a film that’s considered to be a massive success, only grossed $35 million in its opening weekend in August. Last year, the highest grossing horror film of 2016 was The Conjuring 2, and despite that movie being a highly anticipated sequel to a beloved film with great reviews, its opening weekend was only $40 million, much less than It is expected to take in.
It won’t just be breaking records within the horror genre, though; it will also likely set the record for biggest opening weekend for a film released in September. Right now, the record is held by Hotel Transylvania 2 with $48 million, and by all accounts It is virtually guaranteed to exceed that. Later this month, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is set to have another solid September debut, but it’s unlikely to beat the record that It is about to set, as the spy sequel is projected to open at about $45 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It appears that It is generating interest among both horror fans and non-horror fans alike, and it has a bit more of a broad appeal than something like Annabelle: Creation or even The Conjuring 2. Positive word of mouth will also likely be a major boost to the film’s box office take, as the film is already receiving staggeringly good reviews and maintains a score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film will therefore wind up being a rare entry into the horror genre that is both a juggernaut at the box office and is beloved by critics and fans alike.
It opens in theaters on September 8.