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Pennywise frightening a child in IT Chapter Two

Andy Muschietti’s 2017 Stephen King adaptation IT is the biggest horror movie of all time at the box office, with $700.3 million worldwide, a figure that is usually reserved for four-quadrant, PG-13 blockbusters, not R-rated horror films. The first film’s incredible performance obviously bodes well for the prospects of the sequel, IT Chapter Two. As we head into its opening weekend, IT Chapter Two’s global opening numbers are looking pretty serious.

If the prognostications are correct, IT Chapter Two could be headed for a massive global opening weekend of $200+ million, according to Deadline. That would give IT Chapter Two the worldwide opening record for a horror film, a record currently held by its predecessor, which opened to $189.7 million in 2017. Part of the bullish outlook on IT Chapter Two’s global opening box office is that it will open in more places at once than IT.

IT Chapter Two opens in 75 overseas markets, plus North America, this weekend for a global debut that’s nearly day-and-date, with only a few markets having to wait until later in the month or later in the year. This is in contrast to IT, which had a staggered rollout. While IT’s domestic opening, a September record $123.4 million, was more than its international opening, it will likely be the opposite for Chapter Two, with overseas box office making up the majority of the film’s worldwide opening weekend sum.

Overseas, IT Chapter Two is expected to scare up between $100-$110 million this weekend. It rolls out in most international markets Wednesday-Friday this week. The United Kingdom, Germany and Mexico were IT’s biggest overseas performers and the sequel will be playing in all three of those countries this weekend. France doesn’t see the film until September 11 and Japan has to wait all the way until November 1.

It is important to note that IT did not play in China, and that is expected to hold true for the sequel as well. So IT Chapter Two will have to succeed internationally without the Middle Kingdom that so many big movies rely upon.

Although IT Chapter Two will likely open bigger internationally and worldwide than the first film, domestically it is not expected to top that amazing $123.4 million IT earned. Long-range tracking on the film had it pegged to open between $110-$150 million, but it is now expected to make a little less domestically, around $90-$100 million over opening weekend, when it will play in around 4,200 theaters.

That more muted, but still very high, tracking is attributed to the anticipation that was built up for the first film and the fact that Chapter Two’s runtime is two hours 49-minutes, over a half an hour longer than Chapter One. That said, I personally don’t view long runtimes as a guaranteed box office detractor when audience interest is strong enough.

Avengers: Endgame destroyed tracking and it was over three hours, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood gave Quentin Tarantino his best opening at two hours and 41 minutes. So we’ll see how IT Chapter Two does domestically starting tonight when preview screenings begin in 3,700 domestic locations starting at 5 p.m. IT earned an all-time horror record for preview showings with $13.5 million in 2017.

IT Chapter Two has been breaking records for advance ticket sales and the more recognizable cast of adult Losers could help it draw at the box office. The sequel hasn’t received quite the gushing acclaim that the first film did, but the reviews are still largely positive, and if audiences loved the first movie, it seems like most would want to see how it ends.

IT Chapter Two is in theaters this weekend. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what else is headed your way this fall.

IT Chapter Two World Premiere Interviews with Bill Hader and More

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