IT Chapter Two is projected to have the second-best September box office opening of all-time. The film, of course, is the sequel to the 2017 smash hit IT, which broke multiple commercial records during its run two years ago. Among the many marks it set was becoming the highest-grossing horror film in history (unadjusted for inflation), bringing in a whopping $700.3 million worldwide against a production budget of only $35 million. Unsurprisingly, Warner Bros. quickly moved ahead with the followup, recruiting an all-star ensemble to portray the Losers' Club as adults.
In just a few weeks, IT Chapter Two will premiere in theaters, and the marketing campaign has been going on in full force for the past few months. Multiple trailers have hinted at a film that's just as creepy and unsettling as its predecessor, with horror icon Pennywise back in full force to terrorize Derry. While it remains to be seen if the sequel can match the first film in terms of critical standing, it is poised to be another major box office smash.
According to Variety, IT Chapter Two is projected to earn up to approximately $110 million during its first three days domestically. That figure would easily blow past The Nun for September's second-highest opening weekend and trail only the original IT for the all-time record ($123.4 million).
As for why IT Chapter Two is not currently estimated to match or surpass the first film, there are a couple of reasons. First, it's rare in Hollywood for the direct sequel to a record-breaking movie to top its predecessor. For example, Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened with $247.9 million domestically, and The Last Jedi earned $220 million in its debut. When something becomes as huge a phenomenon as IT was a couple years back, it's hard to replicate that performance. Additionally, IT Chapter Two is said to be nearly three hours in length, a substantial increase in running time when compared to the original's 135 minutes. A longer runtime means fewer opportunities for screenings per theater, which might have a marginal, but still noticeable, impact on the bottom line.
There's still time for these projections to change, and they'll likely fluctuate in one direction or another when word-of-mouth begins to spread closer to release. Even if IT Chapter 2 has to "settle" for the low end of the initial estimates ($95 million), WB would more than likely be thrilled with the results. The studio hasn't had the best year at the box office in 2019, with high-profile sequels such as The LEGO Movie 2 and Godzilla: King of the Monsters underperforming. Even hits like Shazam and Detective Pikachu didn't exactly set the marketplace on fire. Not every studio can post numbers like Disney, obviously, but WB would love to have a huge, zeitgeist-seizing hit under their belts soon.
- IT Chapter Two (2019) release date: Sep 06, 2019