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It isn’t even Halloween and horror, in all its many forms, has invaded the box office.
Last weekend, It terrorized North American theaters with a record-shattering $123 million debut, the biggest showing ever for a horror film. Now comes along Darren Aronofsky’s prestige psychological horror-thriller, mother!
The question isn’t which movie will win the weekend — It is the certain victor with a sophomore outing of $50 million or more — rather, can mother! perform in line with prerelease tracking and clear $12 million to $15 million in its domestic launch, or will it be dinged by It? (Arofonsky’s Black Swan did modest business in its nationwide launch in 2010 but had exceptional legs, earning $107 million domestically).
“If this year is any indication, there should be room for both movies in this horror-loving marketplace,” says comScore’s Paul Dergarabedian. “Audiences can’t seem to get enough of the in-theater thrills they provide and mother!, opening in the wake of of the juggernaut that is It, offers a decidedly different experience and will attract an audience based on the talent attached, the compelling trailer and the mystery surrounding the film’s plot.”
Box-office analyst Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations is of a different opinion: “No film will be survive Hurricane It. Having Jennifer Lawrence front and center should help the bottom line, but the multiplex masses will still likely stay away from this film with a strange title. In other words, mother! is a tough sell, despite the pedigreed cast.”
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