Tag Archives: Andy Muschietti

Box Office Report: ‘It’ feeds on box office, floats to largest horror opening record with $117+ million

Box office tracking once again severely underestimated a film’s potential, with It blowing away initial $50 million predictions to make an estimated $117.15 million this weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. Other estimates have pushed as far as $125 million.

Not only is this a massive win for the film, but it puts It among the top of the entire year and, in certain categories, of all time. With $117.15 million, It‘s opening weekend will outgross that of Spider-Man: HomecomingWonder WomanThe Fate of the Furious and Logan (not combined). At the moment, the Stephen King adaptation, directed by Andy Muschietti and starring Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, only stands behind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Beauty and the Beast, and should stay in the top 10 openings of 2017 once the year is over.

That number also marks the largest September opening ever by nearly $70 million (and possibly more so if the actuals turn out to be $125+ million) and the largest opening for a horror film ever. It falls just short of the largest R-rated opening, which belongs to Deadpool at $132.4 million.

On merely a $35 million production budget and with upwards of $60 million taken internationally, It has already made it’s money back, and then some. A sequel is in the works, but New Line Cinema (a label of Warner Bros.) will be very comfortable financing the next chapter, and perhaps offering it a larger production budget.

The weekend’s #2 is a sharp fall off from It, as Home Again, the Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy, grossed an estimated $9 million. That marks almost a $110 million difference between first and second place.

After three weekends at the number 1 spot, The Hitman’s Bodyguard falls to #3, taking an estimated $4.85 million. Despite less than favorable critical ratings, the film, made for $30 million, is massively successful.

Wind River continues a very solid run after expanding wide, with its domestic total exceeding $25 million, assuredly making its money back.

Finally, after releasing in every market, Dunkirk will soon wrap up its theatrical run. It stayed in the top 10 this weekend, landing #8 with an estimated $1.95 million. Its $183 million domestic total nears Interstellar‘s $188 million, and has a chance at passing it. The film should also reach $500 million worldwide, currently standing at $492 million, which already distinguishes it as the largest grossing World War II film of all time (not adjusted for inflation).

*All weekend numbers are domestic, meaning that they’re from theaters in the U.S. and Canada, and are also estimates, reported by Box Office Mojo, with actuals coming out in the next few days.*

Featured image via Warner Bros.

‘It’ Review: A terrifying, engaging and crowd-pleasing Stephen King adaptation

When the biggest complaint one might have walking out of a horror movie is that the film might feature too many scares per minute, then that film has done its job.

It’s an unimaginably tough task to tackle the first half of a 1100-page beloved novel and condense it to a two hour and 15 minute film. Yet, the Andy Muschietti-directed It not only lives up to the hype, but is also the best Stephen King adaptation outside of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

Because the film only features the younger characters’ stories — rather than their adult form, which will be in Part Two — it feels like a darker, more horrific Stand By Me. Following the teenage Losers Club searching for Bill’s (Jaeden Lieberher) younger brother Georgie, as well as the other countless missing children during the summer of 1989 in Derry, Maine, the film spends a significant amount of time developing the town and these young heroes.

Thankfully, this pays off in dividends in the emotional arcs of each one of the seven child actors. When the film slowly reveals the traumatic home lives of each one of the kids — parents might be just as harmful as the infamous monster — this adds a palpable sense of empathy for the kids and, most terrifyingly, a real sense of fear and despair when they’re haunted by “It.”

Which leads to what everyone wants to know: how is Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, or “It”?

The answer: horrifically stunning. The performance is a masterclass in physical and vocal tics. The terrifyingly realized character never feels forced in its manipulative dialogue (“You’ll Float Too” is the stuff of nightmares here) or unhinged movements — elements incredibly captured by the intensely focused cinematography from Park Chan-Wook regular Chung-hoon Chung. While Tim Curry’s memorable version of the character may have provided the voice Bill Skarsgård (sometimes) uses, this film and the performance get under your skin much more effectively here. Think what Heath Ledger did for The Joker in comparison Jack Nicholson, in the fact that Ledger brought real anarchy and terror to the character — and that’s what Skarsgard does for Pennywise.

If anything though, the scares — which come fast and often — threaten to overtake the strong character development that Muschietti so wisely sets up in this first part. And the solid (but not great) CGI breaks immersion at points, especially when Bill Skarsgård’s natural portrayal is scarier than anything a computer can whip up.

All in all though, It is an event-horror movie that we rarely get. With all of the hype surrounding the film, it was potentially easy to whiff — killing any desire for a sequel. Instead, it’s a rare jump-scare horror movie that earns its audience’s emotion for both thrills, laughs and tears. And that makes it one of the better studio films of 2017 and the rare situation where a much needed follow-up may just make the full experience ever greater.

Grade: 8.6/10

Featured image via Warner Bros.