When it comes to breaking ground in horror, you can always count on Stephen King, whose latest adaptation, IT is breaking ticket pre-sale records. King is the man behind Jack Torrance in The Shining, Kathy Bates' hobbling scene in Misery, and Fred Gwynne's chilling delivery of the line, "Sometimes, dead's better" in Pet Sematary. And now, IT (from Mama director, Andrés Muschietti) has become the top pre-selling horror film in Fandango's history.
The film's official release date is just around the corner, but it turns out that audiences can hardly wait. Which shouldn't come as much of a surprise, seeing as the film's first teaser trailer already broke YouTube records as the most-viewed trailer in a single day. It hit a staggering 197 million views in just 24 hours, even beating out The Force Awakens (which hit a commendable 112 million views).
In the off chance you happen to be unfamiliar with the source material (not to mention the parade of marketing with which Warner Bros. and New Line have gifted this adaptation), Stephen King's It centers around the fictional town of Derry, Maine where children disappear in record numbers. When one of the disappearances becomes personal to Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher), he and his group of misfit friends decide to tackle the mystery themselves, only to discover that the culprit is a shape-shifting monster known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
The movie ticket sale site, Fandango, hasn't released an official headcount, but pre-sale tickets are already in the thousands, suggesting that the film's initial predicted opening gross may potentially exceed expectations. The last horror film to carry this rank was 2011's Paranormal Activity 3.
To better understand the driving force behind this pre-sale ticket boom, Fandango reached out to some of the horror-hungry customers, surveying them about their decision to prepare in advance for the second (but not only) Stephen King adaptation of the year (the first being The Dark Tower). 96 percent of the surveyed customers bought tickets out of sheer excitement, 91 percent did so on account of the material belonging to Stephen King, and 89 percent were successfully reeled in by the trailer alone.
With the summer season winding down (which incidentally earned the worst cumulative box office total in 11 years), the fall season seems to promise something of a financial turnaround. Between IT (which is projected to surpass its estimated $60 million opening weekend), Thor: Ragnarok, Blade Runner 2049, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the dog days of summer don't seem to be quite as sluggish as their reputation suggests.
Whether or not other horror films -- like Darren Aronofsky's mother! or Jigsaw -- can manage to benefit off of IT's success remains to be seen, but where there is death, mayhem, and child-eating clown monsters, there is hope. Oddly enough.
Next: IT Review
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