Weekend Forecast: ‘IT’ Poised to Float On Ahead of ‘American Assassin’ & ‘mother!’ Debuts

After last week’s stunning debut from IT, this weekend’s new releases seem to face an uphill battle in the wake of that film’s strong word of mouth and continued record performance. Still, the overall market will remain very healthy as this September continues to perform at a potential record pace. Our final analyses and forecast for the upcoming frame:


  • American Assassin (Lionsgate) boasts three key advantages: an existing fan base from the popular novel series, Dylan O’Brien’s young female fan base, and Michael Keaton’s career resurgence that should make him a key attraction among older male audiences. Twitter activity in recent days has been comparable to that of John Wick at the same point before release, while day-to-day Facebook growth has approached the comparable pre-release levels of The Accountant.
  • mother! (Paramount) hopes to attract audiences through star power, namely in the form of Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. Director Darren Aronofsky himself could be an attraction among his fans and some casual audiences that enjoyed his Oscar-winner Black Swan in 2010. Critical reception is mostly positive so far with a 76 percent score and 7.0 average rating across 59 critics as of this publishing. Twitter and Facebook trends are notably ahead of The Gift at this stage.


  • American Assassin will likely do best in middle America, but will struggle to find appeal among O’Brien’s key female audience due to the R-rated, male-leaning, action/thriller genre. The fact that it isn’t trending further ahead of films like John Wick on Twitter despite being an existing property with three years’ worth of user base growth to cull from is a somewhat concerning sign for this weekend’s prospects, and next week’s Kingsman sequel release could keep much of the male audience at home this weekend. Meanwhile, critical reception is underwhelming early on with a 47 percent score and 4.9 rating from 19 critics.
  • mother!‘s biggest disadvantage, obviously, will be facing the box office monster IT‘s second weekend. The studio’s release timing for mother! has always been a head-scratcher given the close proximity to the Stephen King adaptation, but given the latter’s massive over-performance, mother! faces an even tougher challenge now. Twitter and Facebook activity are far behind that of Crimson Peak and House at the End of the Street, the latter of which similarly starred Lawrence in a fall-time thriller that opened to $12.3 million on this same weekend in 2012.

The Top 5 Weekend Forecast:

Title Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through Sunday, September 17 % Change
IT Warner Bros. (New Line) $50,000,000 $208,640,000 -59%
American Assassin Lionsgate $12,900,000 $12,900,000 NEW
mother! Paramount $9,750,000 $9,750,000 NEW
Home Again Open Road Films $5,400,000 $16,900,000 -37%
The Hitman’s Bodyguard Lionsgate / Summit $2,450,000 $69,000,000 -49%

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

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