It: Horror Flick is Huge Blockbuster

Once again, a low-budget horror flick saved the day at the box-office.

It, the New Line-Warner adaptation of  Stephen King’s novel, is shattering box office records in its opening weekend. The R-rated horror should make $117.2 million from 4,103 locations, surpassing all expectations.

That would give “It” the third-largest opening weekend of 2017, about even with “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which made $117 million. Only “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” earned more this year. And $7.2 million of “It’s” domestic grosses are coming from 377 Imax screens.

“There’s something really special about the story itself, the way the movie was made, and the marketing,” said Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief at Warner.

Its gender breakdown is 51% female and 49% male. About two thirds of the audience has been over 25 years old.

It movie review

“It’s” opening is mostly unprecedented, crushing the record for largest September debut set by “Hotel Transylvania 2” in 2015 with $48.5 million, and the biggest opening weekend banked by a horror or supernatural film — “Paranormal Activity 3” earned $52.6 million in 2011. When it comes to R-rated movie launches, “It” falls only to “Deadpool,” which changed the game in 2016 with a massive $132.4 million opening.

In addition to its domestic grosses, the horror hit should pull in $62 million from 46 markets overseas, giving “It” a $179 million global debut. That’s a huge win for a movie that cost $35 million.

Horror films often have lower budgets than other CGI-dense blockbusters, so the return on investment has potential to be massive.  This genre is one that New Line particularly excels in, and there is potential to see more horror in the future if the right story comes along.

The movie was helmed by Argentine director Andy Muschietti, who is known for the 2013 horror film “Mama.”

Bill Skarsgard stars as Pennywise the Clown, who terrorizes young children in Derry, Maine.

The rest of the cast includes youngsters Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott in supporting roles.