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Can Pennywise and 'It: Chapter Two' Lead to Another Record Breaking September?

by Brad Brevet
 

 
September 5, 2019

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Warner Bros. and New Line's It: Chapter Two brought in an estimated $37.4 million on Friday and is expected to deliver a $90+ million three-day debut. The opening day performance is approximately $13 million behind the first film, which saw Saturday's gross dip -11% and audiences seem to be responding to the second film in the same way they did the first film, giving it a "B+" CinemaScore, the same as the 2017 film.

The film is also now open in 75 international markets where it has brought in a total of $39 million so far.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Warner Bros. and New Line's It: Chapter Two brought in $10.5 million from preview showings beginning last night at 5PM in over 3,700 locations. The performance falls behind the $13.5 million in previews for the first chapter, but is still impressive nonetheless, falling just shy of the $11 million in previews Wonder Woman brought in ahead of a $103 million opening and ahead of Logan's $9.5 million in previews ahead of an $88 million opening.

We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: The summer movie season came to a close this past weekend, finishing down -2% compared to last year while the year is down nearly -7% compared to the same time last year. The fall season, however, hopes to bump those numbers up a bit beginning with this weekend's release of It: Chapter Two, the sequel to the 2017 smash hit, which broke the September and Fall opening weekend records, going on to become the highest grossing R-rated horror movie of all-time and delivering over $700 million worldwide. Two years later, can Pennywise headline another record-breaking September?

After what served as the second smallest weekend of the year so far last weekend, Warner Bros. and New Line's It: Chapter Two will likely deliver enough to top the combined total of last weekend's films all on its own. Despite the studio anticipating a debut anywhere from $85-90+ million, industry expectations climb even higher as does our forecast for the weekend. That said, the first film opened with a record $123.4 million, arriving on the scene with meteoric anticipation and audiences responded, joining a chorus of strong critical reviews. The sequel hasn't received quite the same amount of attention as its predecessor and reviews are slightly more muted (68% on RottenTomatoes compared to 86% for the original), but that doesn't mean anticipation is lacking.

Like most sequels, IMDb page view data shows Chapter Two pacing well behind the first film, but a look at the first and second films in The Conjuring franchise showed a similar gap in page views leading up to release, but that didn't stop The Conjuring 2 from debuting just shy of the first film.

It: Chapter Two will launch in a record 4,570 locations, the widest ever release for an R-rated film, and we're looking for it to debut with $105+ million. The true test will be to see just how the film plays over Saturday, Sunday and beyond as audience response begins rolling in. It holds an 84% audience score on RottenTomatoes to go along with a "B+" CinemaScore, which is strong for a film in the horror genre. Whether the sequel can live up to the original in that sense and receive similar positive word of mouth will be the true test and deliver a strong multiple.

We'll get our first taste as to how the film is performing tomorrow morning after it begins playing in over 3,700 preview locations this evening at 5 PM. The first film brought in a massive $13.5 million from previews, which began at 7PM in ~3,500 locations. While it might seem the additional two hours may be a help it's also worth noting, at two hours and 49 minutes, the sequel is 34 minutes longer than the first film.

Lionsgate and Millennium's Angel Has Fallen will slip to second place after two straight weekends at #1. This weekend we're anticipating a dip around -53% and a three-day right around $5.5 million for a domestic cume topping $53 million by end of day Sunday, continuing to pace ahead of its predecessor.

Universal's R-rated comedy Good Boys is looking at a third place finish as it enters its fourth week in release. Look for the film to dip around -45% or so for a $5.25 million, finishing with a domestic cume nearing $67 million.

Disney's The Lion King enters its eighth week in release this weekend and is looking at its eighth weekend in the top five. This weekend it should near $530 million at the domestic box office and by the end of next week it will likely surpass Rogue One to become the 12th largest domestic release of all-time.

Rounding out the top five is Sony and AFFIRM's Overcomer, which is adding another 326 locations this weekend as it now expands into over 2,100 locations. Right now we're anticipating a -35% dip this weekend and a $3.7 million three-day for a domestic cume nearing $25 million.

In limited release, Fox International will debut Chhichhore in 195 theaters.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • It: Chapter Two (4,570 theaters) - $105.0 M
  • Angel has Fallen (3,229 theaters) - $5.5 M
  • Good Boys (3,188 theaters) - $5.3 M
  • The Lion King (2,610 theaters) - $4.5 M
  • Overcomer (2,153 theaters) - $3.7 M
  • Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2,298 theaters) - $3.3 M
  • Ready or Not (2,350 theaters) - $3.0 M
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (1,402 theaters) - $2.3 M
  • Dora and the Lost City of Gold (1,788 theaters) - $2.3 M
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2,101 theaters) - $2.3 M

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LATEST UPDATES
DAILY: Tuesday, 9/17 (39 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 9/16 (39 tracked)
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'It: Chapter 2' #1
DAILY: Friday Estimates, 'Hustlers' #1
WEEKLY: 'It: Chapter Two' Tops the Week with $18.3m
DAILY: Thursday 9/12, (51 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 9/11 (39 tracked)
> MORE UPDATES