IT Chapter Two is the next major release on the 2019 release calendar, but how much did it cost to make? In 2017, the new adaptation of Stephen King's classic novel IT shattered box office records and became a phenomenon, ending its run as the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all-time. Unquestioningly, Warner Bros. was quick to green light a sequel, which is set to be released this weekend. Already, it's earning mostly positive reviews and is projected to be a massive box office hit.
One of the benefits of the horror genre is that the movies are typically cheap to make, meaning there's a solid chance for greater return on investment. For example, this year's Us sports a $20 million production budget and brought in $254.7 million at the worldwide box office. IT Chapter Two cost a little more than that, though it still follows that general rule of thumb and should turn a massive profit for WB this fall.
The budget for IT Chapter Two is somewhere between $60-70 million. That figure is a little higher than the 2017 predecessor, which cost $35 million. Still, compared to most studio tentpoles, IT Chapter Two is a bargain. A lot of high-profile offerings this year had budgets in the range of $150-200 million, necessitated by the substantial visual effects.
IT Chapter Two being doubly as expensive as the first film can most likely be chalked up to the big-name cast, as A-listers like James McAvoy, Bill Hader, and Jessica Chastain played grown-up members of the Losers' Club. Warner Bros. was able to keep costs manageable, but they still have to pay the top-tier stars. Nevertheless, the studio was probably comfortable with that, knowing that the sequel was going to be a massive smash. It's projected for the second-best September opening, trailing only the first IT. Chapter Two is arriving at an ideal time, facing minimal competition. Labor Day weekend is traditionally one of the slowest times at the multiplex, so now that the holiday's over, audiences will be eager to check out a new wide release.
Going by the general rule of thumb, IT Chapter Two needs to earn around $140 million worldwide to make its money back, a feat it should be able to accomplish with ease. The first IT made $700.3 million globally, so the sequel should be able to finish somewhere in that ballpark. Chapter Two's protracted running time may prevent it from topping its predecessor at the box office, but it's still in great shape to have a lengthy and fruitful run theatrically and be one of the few non-Disney movies to make lots of noise commercially. Maybe it'll be so successful, there will be more IT films in the future.
- IT Chapter Two (2019) release date: Sep 06, 2019