The two-month domestic box office drought has ended emphatically with New Line’s horror-thriller “It” heading for a massive opening weekend of an estimated $103 million at 4,103 North American sites.
It’s the biggest domestic launch since “Spider-Man: Homecoming” opened with $117 million on July 7-9 and the fifth best launch weekend of 2017 after “Beauty and the Beast,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Wonder Woman.”
Based on the 1986 Stephen King horror novel, “It” is attracting moviegoers in numbers far above earlier forecasts, which were in the $65 million to $75 million range. The R-rated title, which focuses on a group of adolescent friends battling a small town’s demon, is the 47th movie to open above $100 million domestically.
“It” wound up with $51 million on Friday, which included a stellar $13.5 million from Thursday night previews — the third-largest preview number for 2017, trailing only Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
Hurricane Irma will hold down moviegoing in the Southeast this weekend with the massive storm expected to hit Florida and Georgia late Saturday. Irma could dent weekend attendance by as much as 5%.