Box Office: Can ‘It: Chapter Two’ Deliver the Hit Warner Bros. Needs?

Variety | 9/4/2019 | Rebecca Rubin
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Can “It” float again? Warner Bros. is hoping the audience’s penchant for Pennywise, the same enthusiasm that turned Andy Muschietti’s 2017 adaptation into a box office smash, will translate into scary-good ticket sales for “It: Chapter Two.”

The follow-up arrives in theaters this weekend with outsized expectations, and not just because the first film set a new genre record to the tune of $700 million globally. The Losers’ Club is returning to the big screen on the heels of a particularly rough summer for Warner Bros. “Annabelle Comes Home” and “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu” delivered modest returns, but those were the lone (and dim) bright spots. A crop of misses that includes “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “Shaft,” the Springsteen-inspired “Blinded by the Light” and Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish’s heist drama “The Kitchen” each sputtered in spectacular fashion. It was a bloodbath that would have been the envy of Pennywise.

Pressure - Chapter - Warner - Bros - Fall

With that said, the pressure is on for “It: Chapter Two” to kick off Warner Bros.’ fall with a much needed win. Estimates show the R-rated horror film could debut with $85 million to $90 million from 4,200 North American locations, while some industry watchers predict that number could balloon to $100 million.

Even if “It: Chapter Two” doesn’t match the surprisingly strong $123 million start of its predecessor, it will be in rarified company for its genre. “Halloween,” which scored with $76 million last year, ranks as the second-biggest launch for a horror movie behind only “It.”

Level - Horror - Opening - Opening - Warner

“We’re still talking elite level horror opening, and an opening Warner Bros. hasn’t seen in a long time,” said Jeff Bock, a media analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “I think people are ramped up to see it. It can work, even if it’s not as big of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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