It expected to have biggest opening weekend ever for an R-rated horror

Ben Bussey
UK Movies Writer

Bill Skarsgard in ‘It’ (credit: Warner Bros) .

“We all float down here…” And it doesn’t look likely that the eagerly-anticipated ‘It’ will sink at the box office.

Predictions are coming in that the long-awaited big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s novel from director Andy Muschietti (‘Mama’) is on track for an opening weekend which may break records for R-rated horror.

Variety reports that ‘It’ is “on pace to open to more than $50 million when it premieres in the U.S. on Sept. 8, 2017,” whilst Deadline suggest it might wind up closer to $60 million – and those figures are only taking into account the domestic box office. The film opens in numerous other territories, including the UK, that same weekend.

If ‘It’ does manage to break $60 million in its first days in theatres, it will likely be the highest opening ever for a horror movie, breaking the existing record held by ‘Hannibal,’ which opened to $58 million in 2001.

On top of which, it would also be a new record for an opening weekend in September, as previously the highest earning release in that month was 2015’s ‘Hotel Transylvania 2,’ which opened to $48 million.

Credit: Warner Bros

Are these predictions likely to prove accurate? Well, the success of ‘Deadpool’ (which holds the R-rated opening weekend record at $132 million) and ‘Logan’ (opening weekend $88 million – and again, these are just US figures) have proved that an R-rating need not keep a movie from making blockbuster money.

Public interest in ‘It’ also seems considerably higher than your average new horror movie, as evidenced by the record-breaking 197 million views the first trailer clocked up in its first 24 hours online – and, of course, by the craze of real-life evil clown sightings around the world since the film was announced.

To date, 2017’s biggest R-rated horror movies at the global box office include ‘Resident Evil: the Final Chapter’ ($312.2 million), ‘Get Out’ ($252.4 million) and ‘Alien: Covenant’ ($232.7 million).

In any case, ‘It’ looks likely to fare considerably better than 2017’s other notable Stephen King adaptation ‘The Dark Tower,’ which has just opened in the UK having made $56.3 million worldwide to date.

‘It’ opens in UK cinemas on 8 September.

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