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When box office estimates first emerged for director Andres Muschietti's IT back in late August, the numbers suggested that the opening weekend would yield numbers in the $50-60 million range. It turns out that those guesses could not have been more wrong, as the latest figures show that the new coming-of-age/horror feature should make nearly twice that much and utterly destroy September records.
Box Office Mojo has posted its Saturday AM update, and the results are rather jaw dropping. As we got to the end of this past week, estimates continued to grow, with prognosticators suggesting $85 million and then $95 million, but now it looks like IT will manage to cross the century mark and make north of $100 million this weekend. The Stephen King adaptation got off to an amazing start with $13.5 million from Thursday shows (another record broken), but it actually managed to make $51 million from Friday screenings alone.
If we were in the month of May this would be a bit more normal, but IT is putting up crazy numbers for the month of September. To give you some reference, the previous top opening weekend for the month was orchestrated by Hotel Transylvania 2 back in 2015 - which made $48,464,322 in its first frame. For those of you sitting in the back, that means that IT managed to make $2.6 million more in one day than the animated feature did in three. A $100 million-plus take would mean more than doubling the previous record - and that would be a move that could ultimately totally change the way that the industry looks at September as a release month. We don't typically see blockbusters in the ninth month of the year, but we might want to get used to them if it's possible for $100 million successes to happen.
As amazing as the numbers are, it's also not terribly hard to see how this success came together. After a dismal summer season at the movies, the public has been hungry for a major new release - and while IT carries what would normally look like a prohibitive R-rating, it's clearly feeding the masses. When you see the movie, you understand why: it is a true-blue crowd pleaser that invites just as many scares as it does laughs (it's amazing to see with a big audience), and it also hucks out a nice dose of nostalgia paired with a creepy, classic monster tale.
We won't know exactly how high the meter will climb for IT this weekend, but you can be sure that we'll be following it extremely closely (look out for my full box office column tomorrow afternoon). If you've already seen the movie, answer our poll on Page 2 and tell us what you thought of the film in the comments section! And be on the lookout for a whole lot more of our IT coverage coming your way in the coming days.