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Stephen King's IT has reigned supreme as one of the author's most beloved stories, with its theatrical remake standing out as one of this year's most anticipated theatrical openings. Merely on the back of trailers and advanced first looks alone, Andy Muschetti's new filmed adaptation has built a strong amount of buzz, and now advanced tracking has pegged the film at a possible $50 million opening.
The advanced numbers are already starting to form in the minds of analysts and studio accountants, and there's a varied picture as to how much IT will rake in during those first couple of days. On one hand, there are some that think the film could top out at $60 million, whereas Warner Bros. and New Line have projections that hew closer to the $40 million figure. Whatever figure turns out to be correct, it looks as if IT could be on its way to a record breaking success, if it plays its cards right.
Considering the record for an opening weekend in September was set at the $48 million mark by 2014's Hotel Transylvania 2, IT would only need to aim for the middle of the projected field of success to make its own mark on the history of the last month of summer. While this may have seemed like an outlandish prediction earlier in the summer, a couple of factors are rather advantageous to the film's chances at historic achievement.
Again, IT is a film that's been talked about quite a bit on the internet, even going as far as breaking the record for trailer views in its first 24 hours of being uploaded. Not to mention, promotions such as the L.A. based haunted house attraction, and the new VR experience "Float" are keeping the film fresh in everyone's minds in the coming weeks before the film's release. But the biggest trump card was just revealed in the past couple of days, as a new premium format of viewing has been announced for IT's rollout.
IT was announced as heading to IMAX theaters on the same weekend as its traditional theatrical debut, and this could only mean big things for the film's chances at the September box office. While the film doesn't have a 3D option, there's a chance that the large format exhibition could draw curious fans into IMAX theaters, ready for full immersion in the world of The Losers Club and their greatest nemesis. It may not be a huge play, but it should surely be enough to propel the film towards the $48 - $50 million mark that The Hollywood Reporter seems confident the film will hit.
Should this first part of the IT story succeed, a monetary win would be a justification to greenlight the second part of the story, focusing more on the grown up versions of the kid protagonists in this installment. We'll see which way the wind blows for IT, as it prepares to deliver some nice, red balloons to audiences all over, in traditional and IMAX formats, on September 8th.