Weekend Forecast: It: Chapter Two Looks to Float Past All Horror Releases Not Named It

The fall box office season officially kicks off this weekend as Hollywood begins to move on from a summer filled with its share of highs and lows. Who better than to usher in the transition than Pennywise and the Losers’ Club?

It: Chapter Two
Opening Weekend Range: $90 – 115 million

PROS:

  • The first film’s massive success broke horror genre records with a $123.4 million domestic opening weekend on the post-Labor Day frame two years ago, going on to earn a hefty $327.5 million stateside as part of its $700.4 million global total. All stand as horror records when not adjusting for inflation, not to mention some of the best R-rated marks of all-time.

  • This sequel’s social media presence has dwarfed that of any other horror release on the radar, consistently ranking among the top five of all films tracked since April — further indicating its broad appeal to a number of demographics. Its nature as the end of a two-film arc looks to be a strong selling point across the board.

  • 2019 has been relatively quiet when it comes to true box office breakouts for the genre, with the obvious exception of Jordan Peele’s Us nearly six months ago. That should go a long way toward giving this anticipated sequel event status again, particularly among Stephen King fans who praised the original film’s true-to-spirit adaptation.

  • Adding star names likes James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, and Bill Hader (in a highly praised role) should only underscore the wide interest this sequel can muster compared to other films in the genre.

  • Exhibitors are booking the film at a feverish pace as our parent company’s Showtimes Dashboard tracker indicates theaters have booked 15 percent more shows per location for this sequel between Thursday and Sunday compared to the first film’s final counts, based on a sample of 2,800+ domestic locations.

  • Warner Bros. is officially expecting around $90 million this weekend based on internal projections and traditional tracking. That would top last year’s Halloween revival ($76.2 million) as the second highest “horror” debut of all-time.

CONS:

  • In objective terms, it will be challenging to repeat the massive success of the first film. Although our earlier forecasts had called for that as a stronger possibility than not, pre-sales activity hasn’t measured up to the same level as the first film — which is generally a tell tale a sign since sequels are often more front-loaded pre-sales drivers. This had become a noticeable trend in recent weeks.

  • Combined with the previous note, that and the first film’s 2.65x domestic final gross multiplier from opening weekend suggest some moviegoers — though in a minority — who weren’t as enthusiastic about the first film as the general populous may choose to sit this one out. That’s an element now factored into our models with more weight than initial expectations.

Top 10 vs. Last Year

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will increase approximately 15 to 30 percent from the same weekend last year. During that frame, The Nun bowed to $53.8 million in its debut while Peppermint scored a $13.4 million opening as part of an overall $106.3 million top ten market.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, September 8 % Change from Last Wknd
It: Chapter Two Warner Bros. / New Line $102,000,000 $102,000,000 NEW
Angel Has Fallen Lionsgate $5,500,000 $53,300,000 -53%
Good Boys Universal $4,900,000 $66,500,000 -48%
The Lion King (2019) Disney $3,900,000 $528,900,000 -44%
Overcomer Sony / AFFIRM Films $3,100,000 $24,000,000 -45%

Alex Edghill contributed to this report

Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday.

Contact us for information about subscribing to Boxoffice’s suite of forecasting and data services.

News Stories