It is a hit of even bigger proportion than estimated.
Final weekend numbers show the supernatural horror film clearing $123.1 million in its North American debut for New Line and Warner Bros. That’s ahead of Sunday morning’s record-shattering estimate of $117.2 million.
Warners was cautious in its modeling because of Hurricane Irma in Florida and the commencement of the Sunday NFL broadcast season.
Overseas, It also wowed with a $62 million launch from 46 markets.
The film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about a group of misfit kids in the 1980s who battle the demonic Pennywise the Dancing Clown is a needed win for Hollywood and theater owners after a difficult summer that saw attendance fall to a 25-year low and revenue plummet by 15 percent.
It broke numerous records, including speeding past Paranormal Activity 3 ($52.6 million) to land the biggest horror opening. It also marks a best for a King adaptation, and is the biggest September debut of all time, eclipsing Hotel Transylvania 2 ($48.5 million).
Directed for New Line by Argentine filmmaker Andres Muschietti (Mama) and costing a modest $35 million to produce, It turned into a movie for all audiences and not just younger horror fans. Roughly 65 percent of ticket buyers were over the age of 25. The genre can often skew heavily female, but males turned out in force this time (49 percent).
“It’s humbling when something performs behind your wildest expectations,” says Warner Bros. Pictures president and chief content officer Toby Emmerich, who previously ran New Line.
Adds comScore box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian: “It has certainly brought big dollars back to the movie theater, and not a moment too soon.”