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Jessica Chastain in IT Chapter Two

We’re still early in the week for IT Chapter Two reviews, as the movie isn’t officially out until later this week (and isn’t screening in some major markets for critics ahead of release). Still, early reviews are out, and while the finale of the Pennywise-based tale is running at “fresh” on the aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, it’s worth noting it’s not as “fresh” as its counterpart.

At the time of this writing, IT Chapter Two has nabbed a 78% fresh rating. That puts it well ahead of recent release Angel Has Fallen on the tomatometer and slightly ahead of Hobbs & Shaw, which are running at 39% and 67% respectively. But how does it compare to IT?

When IT landed in theaters back in 2017, it earned an 86% critical score and an 84% audience score—one of those intriguing times when critics and audiences seem to like a movie at roughly the same rates. IT Chapter Two won’t have an audience score until later in the week, and it will be interesting to see how the numbers pan out at that point.

CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg already had a chance to see the movie, and liked it more than he loved it, noting,

It was always going to be a sincere challenge for IT Chapter Two to match the extreme highs of its predecessor – and the end result of that is the movie feeling like a disappointment for being just “good” instead of “great.

It seems to be a fair consensus among a lot of critics that IT Chapter One is a bit of a letdown, at least when compared to IT; however, what that means to critics who have had the chance to see the Warner Bros. movie really varies. Other early takes on the film note just how long the movie is – it runs much closer to three hours than two – or feel the movie just isn’t quite as tight as its predecessor. Still, whether or not that’s a deal breaker or simply slightly less satisfying than the first movie seems to be up for debate.

The good news? A fresh rating is a fresh rating. Honestly, in the scheme of things, running at a 78% is not that far off from an 86%. (Although, also worth noting, over at Metacritic, it’s faring slightly lower at a 60.) A lot of people have already purchased their tickets for opening weekend, so we should be hearing more feelings from people who have caught the movie soon.

We’ll have to wait and see how audiences feel over the weekend, but IT Chapter Two is clearly the biggest whale in the movie ocean this September. Its competition in the schedule later in the month includes Jennifer Lopez’s stripper movie Hustlers, Brad Pitt’s space movie Ad Astra, Rambo: Last Blood and some smaller movies like The Goldfinch (a book-turned-movie) and Downton Abbey, a flick based on the popular series. None of these are actively competing against IT Chapter Two this weekend.

Let’s hope it’s a good weekend at the movies, even if we don’t like the Adult Loser Club quite as much. For a full look at what’s coming, check out our movies schedule.