It’s been a painful couple of weeks at the movies lately. Labor Day weekend saw no new release for the first time in 25 years, officially putting a stamp on the worst summer movie box office in over a decade, according to Seth Kelley of Variety. Summer may have had plenty of good movies, but the box office is in large need of some kind of revival.
Such a revival looks like it could be coming in the form of an evil clown. While the romantic comedy “Home Again” starring Reese Witherspoon is also being released this weekend, all eyes are looking at the highly anticipated Stephen King adaption of “IT.” The adaption and somewhat remake of the classic two-part TV movie has gathered a lot of attention over the past couple months, with its (no pun intended) trailers becoming some of the most watched ever (its teaser trailer broke the record for most online views in a single day). The horror film, centered on a group of kids being terrorized by an evil, shape-shifting clown, looks to break even more records over the weekend, along with reviving the slow box office that’s been going on for some time.
“IT” has already crushed it with Thursday night previews, bringing in $13.5 million. According to Box Office Mojo, this is now the new record for largest Thursday preview opening for a horror film opening in September, and this just looks like the start. Estimates for the film’s opening weekend at the box office ranges from $65 all the way up to $100 million. Even if the film were to only make the modest expectation of $65 million, it is enough to become September’s biggest opening weekend (“Hotel Transylvania 2” holds the record with $48.4 million), as well as the biggest fall opening weekend (“Gravity” currently holds with $55.7 million), and biggest opening for an R rated horror film (which currently belongs to “Paranormal Activity 3” with $52.5 million).
The film has a lot going for it (again, no pun intended here). Anticipation has been heavy, with both fans of the Stephen King book as well as the two-part TV movie that was released back in 1990 greatly anticipating the film. Along with that, trailers have garnered a lot of interest, and early reaction is largely positive, as the film currently has an 89% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It will be very interesting to see how the film does over the weekend, but it is safe to say “IT” is on its way to becoming one of the biggest box office successes of the year, as well as one of the biggest horror movies of all time.