Weekend belongs squarely to ‘It Chapter Two’

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This weekend belonged squarely to Warner Bros.’ It Chapter Two. Their follow up to 2017’s record-breaking horror title earned $185 million in its worldwide debut. It 2 launched in 76 markets this frame, positioning itself as an event film rather than taking the more typical staggered approach that places greater emphasis on reviews and word of mouth. As of now Chapter 2 is four million shy of the first entry’s $189.7 million worldwide opening record for a horror film. Mexico, which often turns up in force for the genre, is the movie’s biggest overseas territory so far at $10 million. Next is the UK at $9.4 million and then Russia on $8.8 million, followed by $7.1 million in Germany. It 2 made $5.5 million in Italy as well.

Stateside business was worth $91 million compared to the original’s September and genre record $123 million. It 2 also carried a budget more than twice that of It 1’s at $79 million before P&A. Director Andy Muschietti returned and spent a good chunk of his expanded budget on an A-list cast that includes Jessica ChastainJames McAvoy, and Bill Hader. It 2 has hit all of its foreign markets already save for France and Hong Kong which will see the film this week, and Japan which will have to wait until November 1st.

There were no other major new releases this weekend as studios opted to give Warner Bros.’ killer clown a wide berth. Holdover Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw took second on the combined chart. HS made 3.7 million in the US and Canada and $15.7 million in its 69 other territories for a worldwide take of $15.7 million this frame. Total earnings for the film, which was released on August 2nd, are now at $719.7 million

Vertigo inspiring climbing doc Free Solo wedged itself into the global top ten after a strong China opening nearly a year on from its US run. Solo is a vertigo-inducing chronicle of cliff face virtuoso Alex Honnold’s death-defying ascent, without any ropes, of the monolithic 3000 foot tall El Capitan rock wall in Yosemite. National Geographic had incredible luck in getting their documentary in as one of the few foreign films allowed on Chinese screens for 2019. It made $3.3 million there this weekend and reached a global haul of $28.6 million.

Disney’s The Lion King was in third place overall worldwide and fourth at home. It made $13.4 million from its 50 foreign territories and $4.19 million in the US and Canada. Lion King is still in 7th on the worldwide chart. It should keep strong legs for a few weeks longer. Kids begging to see the movie for a third and fourth time won’t have the same effect as rabid Avengers fans, who gave Disney and extra $100 million just to see their favorite movie beat Avatar. But they will be enough to stretch the Lion King’s reign a bit longer.

Next week exotic dancing drama Hustlers, with Jennifer Lopez, opens in the US, along with family drama The Goldfinch with Nicole Kidman and Ansel Elgort.

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