Box Office Report: “It Chapter 2” Kills the Competition

It: Chapter Two Bill Skarsgård in It: Chapter Two (Warner Bros.)

Though down a bit from Chapter 1, Pennywise & the Losers make an impressive early fall comeback.

Autumn has begun, and that means it’s time for pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween decorations, oh yeah, and the second part of the film adaptation of It. Delivering the biggest opening weekend in two months, It: Chapter Two easily floated to the top of the box office with a $91 million opening weekend. That’s the fifth-biggest opening weekend ever for an R-rated title and the second-biggest opening weekend ever for a movie debuting in September. True, it’s down about 25% from the opening weekend of the first It movie, but a decline from that film was always gonna be inevitable. Pennywise is like Spider-Man or Wonder Woman, a character people have been dying to see on the big screen for decades. You can’t replicate that kind of pent-up demand.

For an R-rated horror movie, and one released in September no less, this kind of opening weekend is absolutely impressive, especially for a movie that cost only $70 million to make. Plus, this is the biggest opening weekend of 2019 for a movie not released by Disney. Interestingly, it looks like three of the biggest movies of 2019 domestically that aren’t based on Disney properties will all be mid-budget R-rated properties. The highly unusual nature of the 2019 box office can be summed up in how the biggest successes are either family-friendly Disney blockbuster or hard-R genre fare. Anywho, if It: Chapter Two holds like its predecessor in the weeks, it’ll make just under $250 million domestically, an impressive sum.

The rest of the box office kept on chugging despite the sizeable presence of Pennywise. In second place was Angel Has Fallen, which fell 49% to add $6 million to its domestic cume which now stands at $53.4 million. In third place was Good Boys, which fell 43% this frame for a fourth-weekend gross of $5.3 million for a domestic gross of $66.8 million to date. The Lion King dipped 39% this frame for an eighth-weekend haul of $4.1 million, bringing its mammoth domestic haul to $529.1 million. Rounding out the top five was Overcomer, which had one of the strongest holds in the top twelve by falling just 36% for a third-weekend haul of $3.5 million and a domestic gross to date of $24.4 million. 

Next up is Hobbs & Shaw, which dropped 42% this weekend for a sixth-weekend haul of $3.7 million and a domestic gross to date of $164.2 million. The Peanut Butter Falcon continued its impressive box office run this frame by leaping up to seventh place with $2.276 million, only a 24% drop from last weekend. Falcon has now grossed $12.2 million domestically and is currently the tenth-biggest title ever for Roadside Attractions. The presence of Pennywise at the domestic box office led to horror movie holdovers suffering steep drops. This included  Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which fell 54% for a fifth-weekend gross of $2.275 million for a domestic haul of $62.1 million, and Ready or Not, which fell 62% this frame for a third-weekend gross of $2.22 million for a $25.6 million domestic gross.

Rounding out the top ten was Dora and the Lost City of Gold, which fell 47% this frame for a fifth-weekend haul of $2.1 million and a domestic gross of $54.1 million. Right behind Dora was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which also fell 47% this frame and took in $2.15 million. Tarantino’s latest movie has now accumulated $134.3 million. The Angry Birds Movie 2 fell a steep 61% this weekend for a fourth-weekend gross of just $1.6 million and a domestic gross of only $38 million, while fellow Sony/Columbia holdover Spider-Man: Far from Home fell 71% this frame, giving it another $1.2 million for a $388.1 million domestic gross.

Brittany Runs a Marathon expanded into 230 locations this weekend and actually fared quite well as it grossed $1.03 million for a very nice $4,505 per-theater average. This title has grossed $1.9 million after 17 days of limited release and could end up doing solid business once it expands into wide release on Friday. Don’t Let Go fell 65% in its second-weekend of release to gross another $800,000 for a ten-day domestic haul of only $4.3 million. Chhichhore opened to $575,000 from 195 locations for a per-theater average of $2,949. Toy Story 4 lowered its theater count from 2,715 theaters to 640 this weekend, which resulted in it falling 77% for a twelfth-weekend haul of $541,000 and a domestic haul to date of $431.8 million.

In its second weekend of release, Official Secrets expanded into 42 locations and grossed $252,108 for a per-theater average of $6,003 and a domestic gross to date of $349,891. Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice got off to a robust $115,000 start at 7 locations for a per-theater average of $16,500. Miles Davis: Birth of Cool expanded into 16 locations this frame and managed to gross another $62,190 for a per-theater average of $3,887 and a domestic gross of $158,214. Bennett’s War crashed and burned in its second weekend of release as it fell 91% to add a mere $37,274 to its domestic gross of just $723,089. Looks like this will be the first non-Fathom Events wide release of 2019 to gross under $1 million domestically. Ms. Purple debuted in a single location this weekend and grossed a solid $18,650 while Edie opened to $8,467 from 7 locations for a per-theater average of $1,210.

The top twelve movies this weekend grossed a total of $126.7 million, the second-biggest weekend ever for this timeframe and up 16% from this same weekend last year when The Nun debuted. It’s a strong start for September 2019 and brings September 2019’s box office haul up to $214 million, the second-biggest haul for a September up to this point. Even better, it doesn’t look like Pennywise will be the only one making money in September, Hustlers, Downton Abbey: The Movie and Rambo: Last Blood are all tracking for strong bows this month. With all of those titles on the horizon, there’s a good chance September 2019 could dethrone September 2017 to become the biggest September of all-time domestically.

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