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Jennifer Lawrence mother.jpg

Box Office Report: The Clown Is Down (But Not By Much)

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | September 18, 2017 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | September 18, 2017 |

I don’t know if we all float down here but IT is still coming out on top in its second week of release, and the competition isn’t even close. After storming to over $120m in its opening weekend, the fucking clown movie dropped 50% in its follow-up but still took in over $60m. That makes it the biggest sophomore outing for a horror film ever. IT has only been out for ten days but already it’s surpassed the domestic box office of Get Out and could well be on its way to becoming one of the highest grossing films of 2017 worldwide (currently: $371m). Number ten on that list is Transformers: The Last Knight with $605m. Pennywise could take that shit on, easily.

Just below IT is new release American Assassin, starring Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton. Audiences have warmed to it and it opened with a solid $14.8m from over 3100 theatres. For a film with a $30m budget, that’ll be good news.

Debuting at number 3 with a disappointing weekend gross of $7.5m is mother! Suffice to say, it has found its audience on a smaller scale — critics have generally been very enthusiastic about the mind-bending horror-parable, and even those who disliked it have recommended it for the experience alone — but this was always going to be a tough sell to the mainstream crowd. Knowing that, it’s a surprise that Paramount even released this thing in over 2300 theatres in its first week. Clearly, the struggling studio had a ‘Fuck it’ moment and hoped Jennifer Lawrence’s ardent fan-base would turn out in droves (it’s actually been the lowest nationwide launch of her career). The advertising for mother!, deliberately obtuse and puzzle-like in nature, was never designed for multiplex audiences, and pushing a film where you don’t want to even spoil the basics of the plot is probably a promotional team’s nightmare. It could be more of a slow-burn, with audiences coming out week after week in smaller numbers as they read the rapturous reviews.

The top ten has changed so little over the past couple of weeks that it’s almost exhausting. There’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard, there’s Annabelle: Creation, there’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and Dunkirk. We should hopefully start to see some shifting happening over the next few weeks. Coming up this Friday, we have the sequel to Kingsman, something called The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which makes me feel horribly old, and limited releases for both The Battle of the Sexes and Stronger. Oscar season is here, so stop pretending otherwise!

You can check out the rest of the weekend box office numbers here.

What films did you see this weekend? Do you prefer Pennywise for your horror villain gay icon needs or are you loyal to the Babadook? How on earth are you supposed to pronounce mother! anyway? Leave your answers in the comments.

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Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.