Kingsman: The Golden Circle has knocked IT out of the top spot to become the weekend’s highest-grossing film. Matthew Vaughn had directed the original film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, based on Mark Millar’s comic book series of the same name. The film released back in 2015 and took audiences by surprise, grossing an astounding $414.4 million at the worldwide box office against an estimated production budget of $81 million. Furthermore, the vast majority of audiences and critics praised the film – and all of that convinced the studio and the director to pursue another installment.

The second installment in the Kingsman series, The Golden Circle, hit theaters this weekend and, in addition to featuring returning cast members such as Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong, the film introduced audiences to the Statesman – the Kingsman’s American cousins – which includes actors such as Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, and Pedro Pascal. Anticipation for the sequel has been running high, and enough people had come out to see the film during its opening weekend to unseat the current box office king: IT.

Related: Kingsman 3: What The Director and Cast Want in the Sequel

The Golden Circle opened big during its Thursday-night previews, earning $3.4 million domestically – more than double what the first film made during its preview night in 2015. Now, according to Variety, The Golden Circle will earn an estimated $39 million domestically during its opening weekend, surpassing the original film’s opening of $36.2 million. However, the number is slightly below expectations; the sequel was expected to earn somewhere in the $40 million range. Of course, final numbers don’t release until tomorrow morning, but industry estimations are normally quite accurate.

Colin Firth Taron Egerton and Halle Berry in Kingsman 2 Kingsman 2 Knocks IT From Box Office Top Spot

Despite being below expectations, the sequel grossed enough to unseat Andres Muschietti’s IT, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, as the domestic box office ruler. The film had gone into its third weekend as the highest-grossing Stephen King film as well as the highest-grossing R-rated horror film ever to release, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to run out of steam anytime soon. Although the adaptation didn’t maintain its top spot this weekend, it still earned an astonishing $30 million, thus putting it in second place, behind Kingsman and ahead of The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which is estimated to earn a measly $21.2 million, a number far below expectations and The LEGO Batman Movie‘s opening gross of $53 million.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle hasn’t been as well received as the original film was when it hit theaters two years ago, but the film seems to be on track to perform quite well at the worldwide box office. If everything goes well, Vaughn and the studio may just push forward with their planned third installment in the Kingsman franchise.

Next: Taron Egerton Doesn’t Want New Kingsman Characters To Steal The Spotlight

Source: Variety

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