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Weekend Estimates: It Smashes September Record with $117 Million Weekend

September 10th, 2017


Not for the first time, reports of the death of North American film-going have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, if it’s possible for one film to change the perception of the entire market, It is pretty much, well, it. With an opening expected to be around $120 million—Warner Bros. is saying $117.15 million, although that’s due in part to caution around the effects of Hurricane Irma; the actual figure could be closer to $125 million, depending on how the storm plays out—the film breaks all sorts of records by a huge margin.

For a start, it’ll have the biggest ever weekend for a horror movie, beating a decade-old record held by I Am Legend. It’ll also have the second-best weekend for an R-rated movie, and Friday was handily the biggest single day for an R-rated movie, ahead of Deadpool’s $47.3 million opening day (Deadpool should hold on to R-rated the weekend record).

Perhaps most notably, It will more than double the previous best weekend in September, Hotel Transylvania 2’s $48.4 million. To put how much of an outlier that is in perspective, if a film was to do that same in December, it would need to earn close to $600 million in a single weekend.

Heady stuff indeed, and a sign that people will turn out to watch movies in theaters, if the right movie comes out at the right time. In that sense, It benefited from a great marketing campaign, the rise in 1980s nostalgia, exemplified by Netflix’s success with Stranger Things, and basically having the playing field to itself.

The only other wide release this weekend is Home Again, which will post a modest (but not awful) $9 million, according to Open Road’s Sunday morning estimate. By way of comparison, Reese Witherspoon’s last similar release, Hot Pursuit, picked up $13.9 million on opening weekend.

Elsewhere, the chart has a familiar look to it, with the other films in the top 20 all being returning titles that are declining between 45% and 74% from last weekend. Family films are being hit hardest, thanks to a tough comparison to increased numbers over the Labor Day weekend, but every film is down steeply, which is a sign that It really benefited from a lack of competition.

In limited release, 9/11 is playing to mostly-empty theaters, with only $162,540 expected from 400 locations and a theater average fractionally over $400. The documentary Dolores is a rare bright spot, with $53,610 projected from five theaters, for a total of $70,900 after two weekends.

- Weekend estimates
- Best September weekends
- Best weekends for horror movies
- Best weekends for R-rated movies

- It Comparisons
- Home Again Comparisons
- The Hitman’s Bodyguard comparison chart
- Annabelle: Creation comparison chart
- Leap! Comparisons
- Spider-Man: Homecoming comparison chart
- Logan Lucky comparison chart
- Dunkirk comparison chart
- The Emoji Movie comparison chart

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, It, Home Again, Dolores, 9/11, Reese Witherspoon