You know what people love more than nostalgia? Having the absolute fucking daylights scared out of them. Hey, it’s your free time, we’re not here to judge. Still, even those of us who expected the long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King’s horror masterpiece It to do well at the box office didn’t have the foresight to imagine just how big a hit it would be.
After a dismal summer box office, the clown that ruined a centuries old artform more than John Wayne Gacy and Krusty combined scared up - sorry - a staggering opening weekend of $117.2m. Original projections had been at a more modest but still impressive $75m, which almost seems quaint now. The book and the mini-series adaptation certainly has its fans - and a legacy as one of horror’s most influential texts - but an R-rated horror where the biggest names in the cast are a kid from Stranger Things and the Skarsgard who wasn’t in True Blood or Vikings is an immense achievement. This is definitely the kind of movie that works best with a crowded theatre, preferably not one full of clowns. To put things into perspective, the previous Stephen King adaptation of 2017, The Dark Tower, has only just cracked $100m gross worldwide. Ouch. I’m not saying it’s all Akiva Goldsman’s fault but yes I am that’s exactly what I’m saying.
It was helped along by a lack of competition. Nothing came close to It numbers but Reese Witherspoon’s latest rom-com Home Again took in a respectable $9m, obviously skewing to a very different crowd than It. That also sees the first film by a female director to crack the box office top 10 since Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit slumped out.
The rest of the top 10 is rounded out by films we’ve discussed a lot over the past few weeks - The Hitman’s Bodyguard sits at number 3 with $4.8m gross this week, Spider-Man: Homecoming became the 2nd most successful Spider-Man film ever as it flew past $325m domestic gross, and parents are apparently still dumping their kids in screenings of The Emoji Movie because those darn brats deserve it. Tulip Fever sank to number 25 with a 75% drop in gross, because we know you’re still super invested in that movie.
Hey, did you know there was a movie about 9/11? Starring Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg? No worries if you forgot about it - or chose to actively suppress it from your fragile mind - because so did everyone else. It may scrape together around $150k, which begs the question as to who the hell went to see 9/11?
You can check out the rest of the box office top 10 here.
What film did you see this weekend? Do you want to dropkick every clown you see? Where do you rank Bill on the Skarsgard list? Is Tulip Fever still a hoax? No seriously, who saw the Charlie Sheen 9/11 movie? Answers in the comments.