It is still it. The surprise late summer success that came at the end of a challenging and worrisome box office season. On its second weekend, the Stephen King horror novel adaptation added an extra $60 million in the North American market, topping the box office once again and bringing its domestic total to $200 million after only 10 days out in theaters. There were $60 million in box office receipts from 56 overseas markets, so the worldwide count now stands at over $370 million in 10 days, Mexico alone counted for $14 million on its first weekend.
All this is good news for Warner Brothers and New Line: Bill Skarsgaard, a demonic clown called Pennywise, and his victims will soon be back in the inevitable sequel already in development. The performance of It, already the top-grossing September release, gives a sense of relief to all studios, still in shock after a pretty bad summer: the year-to-year revenue decline is no longer 7 percent and has been cut to 5 percent.
Paramount Studios may have a different outlook: despite a director like Darren Aronofsky and a cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer, its psychological thriller mother! had a debut of just $7.5 million, good for third place. A rare F Cinemascore did not help. Neither did the foreign box office: mother! opened to $6 million from 16 markets, with France at $1.3 million, the UK and Russia at $1.1 million.
Second place in the domestic market went to American Assassin, an R-rated film action thriller that did $15 million. Fourth place went to Reese Witherspoon’s romantic comedy Home Again, which earned $5.3 million for an underwhelming 10-day total of $17 million.
Back to the international circuit, Fox’s War for the Planet of the Apes had a very strong start in China, where it opened with $62.3 million. This brought its global cume to $433.7 million. Still in the Middle Kingdom, Sony and Marvel Studios Spider-Man: Homecoming fell 79 percent, for a 10-day cume of $105 million and worldwide gross of $861.3 million. Universal’s American Made, starring Tom Cruise, will open in the US on September 29, but its foreign rollout continues and it earned the film an extra $12 million from 53 territories, for a total so far of $50 million.
On the specialty front, Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River is now at $ 29.1 million. The Jeremy Renner-Elizabeth Olsen thriller taking place in a cold Indian reservation is the Weinstein Co.’s top contender for the upcoming awards season. The dramedy Brad’s Status, starring Ben Stiller, Michael Sheen and Luke Wilson got a solid $100,000 from four locations.
Next week will have several titles compete being launched into the marketplace. Warner Bros releases The Lego Ninjago Movie; Fox unleashes a new installment of its franchise Kingsman: The Golden Circle. There will also be a limited release of Victoria and Abdul, starring Ali Fazal and Judi Dench involved in an odd royal friendship. Fox Searchlight starts testing instead Battle of the Sexes, a recreation of the historic tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell.