While the sequel didn’t match the opening of the 2017 film, it’s still the second-best horror showing of all time; overseas, the R-rated pic launched to $94 million.
Pennywise once again delivered at the box office.
New Line’s R-rated It: Chapter Two opened to $91 million domestically in a needed win for the film industry after a brutal August. And while the sequel didn’t match the record-shattering launch of the first film, it’s still the second-best horror bow of all time and the second-biggest for the month of September behind It, as well as the top bow for an R-rated pic so far this year, not adjusted for inflation.
Overseas, the R-rated pic scared up $94 million from 75 markets for $185 million globally. The only horror pic to start off with more was It.
The follow-up’s performance is a boost for New Line and parent studio Warner Bros. following a tough summer, capped by the box office bombs The Kitchen and Blinded by the Light. The weekend was also a good one for the studio on other fronts, as Warners’ edgy superhero pic The Joker took home top spoils at the Venice International Film Festival on Saturday.
Internationally, It: Chapter Two performed on par with the 2017 title overall, while beating it in 16 markets, including Russia ($8.8 million). Mexico led with $10.2 million, followed by the U.K. ($9.4 million).
Domestically, the film came in 25 percent behind the $123.4 million earned by It over the same weekend in 2017.
Several factors could have contributed to the difference. The sequel currently has a 67 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 86 percent for the original. Audiences were more forgiving in bestowing the pic with a B+ CinemaScore, the same grade that It received, although exit scores on PostTrak were lower.
Another difference: The sequel runs two hours and 49 minutes — 35 minutes longer than the first movie. New Line helped make up for the lengthy running time by booking the film in 4,570 theaters, the widest release ever for the month of September.
“For me, the big headline is that we now have the No. 1 and No. 2 horror openings. We always said this film would get to $85 million or $90 million; we were never going to hit lightning in a bottle again,” says Warners domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein. “Andy, the marketing team and New Line did a great job scaring the stuffing out of people.”
It: Chapter Two fell less than expected — 10 percent — from Friday to Saturday, on par with It. Younger moviegoers turned out in force, with 64 percent of ticket buyers between ages 18 and 34, while nearly half of the audience was 25 and younger. Caucasians made up 47 percent of ticket buyers, followed by Hispanics (26 percent), African-Americans (14 percent) and Asians/Other (13 percent), according to PostTrak.
More than 20 percent of domestic grosses came from Imax and large-format screens. Globally, Imax turned in a total of $9 million.
Andy Muschietti returned to direct the conclusion of his adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel. The follow-up — which stars Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa and Bill Hader — features the adult incarnations of the kids who battled the creepy clown Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) 27 years earlier.
It: Chapter Two, which cost roughly $90 million to produce before marketing, had the weekend to itself in terms of being the only new studio film.
Among holdovers, Millennium and Lionsgate’s Angel Has Fallen fell to No. 2 in its third outing with $6 million for a domestic cume of $53.5 million.
Universal took the next two spots on the chart with Good Boys, which grossed $5.4 million in its fourth weekend for a domestic tally of $66.9 million and $82.4 million globally.
Disney’s The Lion King remained in the top five in its eighth weekend with $4.2 million domestically. Overseas, it grossed another $13.4 million for a global haul of $1.59 billion.
Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw cleared a major milestone Friday when it topped the $700 million mark globally. For the full weekend, the Universal action pic grossed $3.7 domestically to round out the top five and $15.7 million overseas for a worldwide cume of $719.8 million through Sunday.
Highlights at the specialty box office included Roadside Attractions’ The Peanut Butter Falcon, which cracked the top 10 chart as it expanded into a total of 1,310 theaters, grossing $2.3 million for a domestic total of $12.3 million.
The music-infused documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice debuted in seven theaters, posting one of the best location averages of the weekend ($16,500).
Jay attended a small premiere/screening of It Chapter Two back in his home country of New Zealand where he attended with his love Diana. I’ve added a couple photos from the event. Hopefully more surface. I’ve also added a new poster for the film as well as a handful of photo session additions. Enjoy, he looks so handsome!
Tonight is the premiere for IT Chapter Two in Los Angeles. I’ve added photos of Jay from the event. He looks dabber as usual. I will be adding more throughout the night and week so be sure to check back!
‘I’m not one to go and watch horror movies.”
So says Auckland-born-and-raised actor Jay Ryan who, ironically, is about to appear in his first horror film, and a terrifying one at that.
Yet it was the appeal of working alongside Hollywood A-listers Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader that lured the self-confessed scaredy-cat to endure the relentless horrors of Pennywise the Clown in It Chapter Two.
Adapted from Stephen King’s bestselling horror classic, fanfare for the second instalment in director Andy Muschietti’s 2017 critically acclaimed remake has been building since the spine-chilling trailers were unveiled.
Picking up 27 years after the events of the first film, It Chapter Two finds Derry’s Loser Club clan reunite as adults in their childhood town when the menacing clown, again played by the talented and versatile Bill Skarsgard, resurfaces.
“What a world to be entering into with a Stephen King 1400-page novel,” Ryan quips when asked about making his foray into horror.
“I was a fan of the first film as well, and I had no idea that I’d be playing the adult version in a couple of years. But to be paired up alongside Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, who I’m a huge fan of, it’s been quite an experience.”
Much like the first film, the second instalment carries elements of comedy and drama amid the trademark “jump scare” scenes, which the 37-year-old says helped put him at ease.
“It was really interesting to work on that film because it kind of opened up my mind to what a horror movie could be,” Ryan says.
“It’s not just all about jump scares and Andy Muschietti who directed the film is very much into character development and, surprisingly, this chapter of the film has a huge emotional arc between these seven characters, or Losers.
“So it didn’t always feel like we were filming a horror movie. There were moments that were very scary but a lot of the time it was about the relationship between these seven adults who were coming back to collectively remember what happened as kids and take down this evil entity.
“It was definitely a surprise for me to work on a horror movie, and I’d happily go back and do another one.”
Ryan portrays a grown-up Ben Hanscom, the formerly chubby and shy boy who was bullied for his weight. On returning to Derry close to three decades later he is noticeably slimmer and has built a successful career as an architect.
Ben is among six others in the Loser Club — including Beverly (Chastain), Bill (McAvoy), Eddie (James Ransone) and Stan (Andy Bean) — who left town but had all but forgotten their pledge to reunite should Pennywise return.
That moment comes in Chapter Two when they receive a worrying call from Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) — the only member of the group who remained in Derry — who confirms their worst fears.
Ryan lauded Skarsgard’s brilliantly haunting rendition of Pennywise but admits to keeping his distance while the 29-year-old Swedish actor was in character.
“When he’s in that make-up, he’s a very scary guy,” Ryan recalls.
“There were times where, even trying to have a conversation with him in between takes, is very unnerving.
“At the beginning I didn’t like it so much, so I just left it until cameras were rolling to interact with him in that form.
“But he’s really amazing in his physical performance and the way he uses his voice to create Pennywise. He’s from the Skarsgard family, they’re chameleons in their character portrayals and Bill is one of those guys.”
Ryan was humbled to work alongside Oscar nominee Chastain and McAvoy, who he says “took me under their wing”.
“They’re veterans and so experienced in their game, and I was extremely nervous going in,” he says. “I thought it was almost impossible for me to be cast when I saw the line-up of actors headlining the film.
“Working with them I’ve learnt a lot. They treated me as an equal from day one and you can see why they’re so successful.”
He adds the film, bar a few heart-racing scares and Pennywise’s terrifying appearance, provides plenty of comic relief that will even be enjoyed by people who are not horror fans.
“With Stephen King’s work, you have a huge story and characters to mine from already so there’s an excess of relationships and story there,” he says.
“I guess maybe horror has had a bit of a bad rap in terms of people thinking it’s flimsy cardboard sets and scary masks.
“But this is a huge entity of a story and I think people who aren’t horror fans or, like me, don’t want to go to the cinema to be freaked out, I think they’ll really enjoy this movie because you’ll get a few scares in there absolutely, but you’re going to be with the story and with the character.”
IT Chapter Two is in cinemas September 6.
Jay is in attendance at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) with the cast of for IT Chapter Two. I’ll be updating this post with links to photos in the gallery of him at the event and any videos/interviews of him I come across so keep checking back!
Check out the cast at ConanCon: Watch video here.
Check out the new IT: Chapter Two Trailer and new stills from the film! I can’t wait to see it.