It Dominates Box Office

“It” Breaks All the Records with Massive Debut


September 8-10, 2017

(estimates from


It $117.1 million
Home Again  $9.0 million
The Hitman's Bodyguard  $4.8 million
Annabelle: Creation $4.0 million
Wind River $3.2 million

It became apparent some time in the last month that It, the new adaptation of the first half of Stephen King's legendary novel, was going to be a big horror hit. But no one seemed to anticipate It would be this big. Last week, I predicted $50 million. It did that in one day. Most sites predicted around $85 million. It did that by Saturday night. And now, It has smashed multiple records in one weekend. Its estimated $117.1 million is the biggest September opening by more than double. It's the biggest opening for a horror movie ever. It's also the second-biggest opening for an R-rated movie ever, as well as the third-biggest opening of 2017: bigger than Spider-Man: Homecoming, Wonder Woman or Logan. Overall, it's already one of the top 10 biggest horror movies ever and the second-biggest Stephen King adaptation, behind only 1999's The Green Mile.

So needless to say, everything else looks pretty small in comparison. Home Again, the debut film from the daughter of Nancy Meyers, took second place with about $9 million. (Were it not for It, this would have been another underwhelming box office weekend.) That's even lower than her semi-disastrous Hot Pursuit (2015) but better than infamous bomb How Do You Know (2010), which is actually pretty good.

The rest of the top five were familiar faces: The Hitman's Bodyguard inched toward $65 million. Annabelle: Creation felt the sting of horror competition, but it will still cross $100 million by next weekend. And Wind River cemented itself as the sleeper hit of the summer, as it finally crossed $25 million.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Dolores, a documentary on activist Dolores Huerta. In its second weekend, it average $10,722 on five screens.
  • I didn't even know non-IMAX movies stuck around this long, but Maudie, a romantic historical drama, is finishing up its 22nd weekend in theaters. It's now made just over $6 million.
  • 47 Meters Down has had quite a journey. Originally slated to go straight-to-video, good reviews got it a distribution deal. Now, the $5 million movie has made nearly 10 times that, with a sequel announced called, uh, 48 Meters Down.

Next week:

Get ready for a lot of the fans to go back for a second helping of It. I think $45 to 50 million is certainly doable. That will be much better than American Assassin and mother! will do. I think $15 million for the former and $10 million for the latter.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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