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Box office: It Chapter Two floats the second-biggest horror debut in history with $91 million
While It Chapter Two didn't surpass $120 million like its 2017 predecessor, the film still bagged the second-biggest weekend opening for any horror movie ever released, with $91 million domestically—a number that fits within early projections. It's also the second-biggest box-office debut of any film released in September, after Chapter One. In foreign markets, the highly anticipated sequel scared up an extra $94 million, for a global tally of $185 million. As Variety points out, this was a much-needed victory for Warner Bros. (the studio rolled out It Chapter Two under the banner of New Line), which saw a string of lackluster grosses this summer with Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Shaft, and The Kitchen.
"We’re absolutely thrilled with our result," Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution, said in a statement published by Variety. “Andy Muschietti and New Line, as well as the marketing team led by Blair Rich, created one of those moments where it all works. We’re proud of it ... The Pennywise character really speaks to [younger audiences] in a big way. We have such a strong millennial audience, which tells us we should have a long play in front of us."
Based on the 1986 novel by Stephen King, Chapter Two was written by Gary Dauberman and directed by Andy Muschietti—the two main creative minds behind the first movie. Set 27 years after the events of that story, the follow-up follows the adult members of the Losers' Club as they return to Derry, Maine, in an effort to kill Pennywise (played by Bill Skarsgård) for good, making good on a blood oath they made as children. Led by an all-star cast that includes James McAvoy (Bill Denbrough), Jessica Chastain (Beverly Marsh), and Bill Hader (Richie Tozier), It Chapter Two clocks in at a whopping 2 hours and 49 minutes—a runtime that nearly echoes that of Avengers: Endgame at the start of the blockbuster season in late April.
Isaiah Mustafa (Mike Hanlon), Jay Ryan (Ben Hanscom), James Ransone (Eddie Kaspbrak), and Andy Bean (Stan Uris) play the rest of the grown-up Losers. Xavier Dolan (Adrian Mellon), Jess Weixler (Audra Denbrough), Will Beinbrink (Tom Rogan), Teach Grant (Henry Bowers), Owen Teague (Patrick Hockstetter), and Joan Gregson (Mrs. Kersh) all co-star as supporting characters. Stephen King also makes a small cameo appearance as a Derry shop owner who sells Bill his old bike (lovingly named Silver) back to him.
Genre holdovers—The Lion King and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw—secured the fourth and fifth domestic spots at this weekend's box office, with $4.2 million and $3.7 million, respectively. To date, Lion King has made $529 million in North America for Disney, while Hobbs & Shaw's at-home total stands at $164 million for Universal Pictures.