The most highly anticipated horror film of the year is now a record breaker. IT (2017) has earned $117 million domestic in its opening weekend, according to estimates from Box Office Mojo. This makes it the biggest opening for a horror film, ever.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, IT movie saw the largest September opening of all time, the largest opening for an R-rated film and the widest release for an R-rated film. The clown-fueled blockbuster also holds the current record for largest pre-show earnings of a September release with a $13.5 million gross on Thursday alone.
IT’s stellar performance means a lot for horror. Studios have not typically considered the genre to have major blockbuster potential. They don’t often put the care, budget, and backing behind horror titles that they do for more popular releases. There has been a notable shift lately, however. Horror saw box office success with Jordan Peele’s Get Out and David F. Sandberg’s Annabelle: Creation, two of 2017’s most profitable films.
IT’s performance could mean big things for horror. Studios look to success stories like this to determine future practices. And after floundering in other genres, it’s possible the major studios are going to put more attention and funding into horror films. There’s a change in the air, if this weekend is any indication. But, if it means we get more high-quality horror the likes of IT, it’s a welcome shift indeed!
UPDATE: The final three day gross is in, and It raked in a total of $123 Million this weekend!
Not enough Pennywise? Listen to our full thoughts and review of Andy Muschietti’s IT movie, SPOILERS and all, on this week’s epsiode of the Nightmare on Film Street podcast!