When it comes to blockbuster hits from the 21st century, comic book adaptations have dominated the box office and will be the first genre almost ever cinemagoer would think of. However, this year shows that things have been quite different due to emergence of quality horror movies like Get Out, Annabelle: Creation and It.
After hitting theaters on September 8, Andy Muschietti's second directorial venture has taken the title for the best opening weekend in September, the biggest opening fall weekend and the biggest horror movie opening weekend ever. Regardless of such accolades, Pennywise the dancing clown is showing no signs of stopping and now has his devilish yellow eyes set on a title currently held by William Friedkin's cult-classic The Exorcist.
'It: Chapter One' Is A Box Office Monster!
Hollywood is currently witnessing a revival of Stephen King's books and graphic novels, and Idris Elba and Matthew Mcconaughey's The Dark Tower was supposed to be the stepping stone for the author's shared universe. However, when The Dark Tower performed miserably at the box office and was critically berated, all eyes were on the Muschietti's adaptation of It to keep Warner Bros.'s latest multi-movie venture intact.
So, despite being projected to open at $60 million, the Losers' Club surprised fans and producers alike, by bringing in a whopping $123 million on its opening weekend. By opening in 4148 theaters worldwide, It ended up beating movies like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 ($121 million), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($117 million), Man of Steel ($116 million) and this year's Wonder Woman ($103 million).
Although the shape-shifting clown has dominated the opening day weekend lists, since It primarily helms from the horror genre, it has to muscle its way through The Exorcist and The Sixth Sense in order to take the top spot for the highest grossing horror movie of all time. However, the movie has already taken out some big hitters, like The Blair Witch Project, The Conjuring and The Grudge at the domestic box-office. So, as It is expected to conclude its final run with $30 million more in its bag, fans might get an all new horror movie king on their hands.
Why Did 'It: Chapter One' Do So Well Critically And Financially?
It: Chapter One is the second adaptation of Stephen King's bone-chilling and best-selling 1986 novel of the same name, and therefore had the massive fan-following of King's book and the 1990 TV series. In addition to that, the current resurgence of '80s nostalgia through Guardians of the Galaxy's soundtrack and Netflix's Stranger Things played well with the current generation, while giving the older audience a chance to revisit a bygone era.
As the nostalgia factor had been established through trailers and TV spots, the marketing department decided to amplify the scare factor by tying red balloons to sewer grates - something that's synonymous to Pennywise's high jinks. Although this move encouraged some pranksters to do the same, this strategy already peaked everyone's curiosity, thereby urging them to rush to theaters and find out what the hoopla about red balloons and a clown called 'It' was all about.
In addition to ticking off all the necessary requirements for making a hit movie, It: Chapter One excelled thanks to a great cast and stand-out direction. The movie opened to extremely positive reviews from critics, and as if that wasn't enough, Stephen King (who's known for harshly criticizing his book's cinematic adaptations) gave It a thumbs-up and told fans to relax about Muschietti's faithfulness to Pennywise's origins.
In a time where the audience is constantly showered with half-baked sequels and prequels, it was certainly refreshing to see a movie that respected its source material and provided us with compelling, relatable characters. So, when It: Chapter Two goes down darker paths and the Losers' club face-off with Pennywise, fans will surely flock to cinemas in order to take a final ride through the sewers of Derry.