Warner Bros. and New Line's It is doing terrifying business in its second weekend after scaring up the biggest debut of all time for a horror film.
The film adaptation of Stephen King's novel earned $19.2 million from 4,103 theaters on Friday for a projected weekend haul of $59 million. That would be a decline of just 52 percent, unusual for a horror film. It has turned into a water-cooler sensation, and will finish Sunday with a 10-day domestic total north of nearly $220 million — already the top-grossing September release of all time — on its way to a lifetime gross of $300 million-plus.
The movie is easily devouring the competition, including new entries American Assassin and Darren Aronofsky's divisive psychological horror-thriller mother!, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem (all three titles are rated R).
American Assassin, an action-thriller from CBS Films and Lionsgate, is targeted a second-place finish. The movie grossed $5.8 million from 3,154 theaters on Friday for a respectable $15.5 million debut, slightly ahead of fellow Lionsgate action pic John Wick ($14 million). It earned a B+ CinemaScore.
Directed by Michael Cuesta, American Assassin stars Dylan O'Brien as a CIA operative who teams with a veteran agent (Michael Keaton) to stop terrorists from starting a world war. The film, also featuring Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar and Taylor Kitsch, is based on late author Vince Flynn's novel of the same name.
Aronofsky and Paramount's mother! is coming in well behind expectations after becoming one of a dozen or so films to ever get slapped with an F CinemaScore from audiences. The prestige title took in $3.1 million from 2,368 theaters on Friday for a projected $8 million debut — the lowest wide opening of Lawrence's career after The House at the End of the Street ($12.3 million).
mother! had been tracking to open in the low teens. Also featuring Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, the $30 million film made its world premiere earlier this month at the Venice Film Festival before screening at the Toronto International Film Festival to generally good reviews, with a current score of 69 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
From a script by Aronofsky, the mysterious story revolves around a married couple named mother (Lawrence) and Him (Bardem), whose tranquil existence is tested when two strangers — man (Harris) and woman (Pfeiffer) — show up at their country Victorian home.
Sept. 16, 7:15 a.m. Updated with Friday grosses and revised weekend estimates.