'It' floats to #1 for second week running as audiences opt against 'mother!'
It really isn’t clowning around. (Sorry). The Andy Muschietti-directed horror outing floated to a $60 million sophomore weekend, bringing its total domestic gross to $218.7 million. That makes It the highest-grossing September release and puts it within spitting distance of the record for highest-grossing horror movie, currently held by 1973’s The Exorcist ($232.9 million). (That number, it should be noted, is not adjusted for inflation.) It also opened in a handful of international markets; overseas, its cume is sitting at $152.6 million, for a worldwide haul of $371.3 million against a $35 million production budget. Time to break out the bubbly at Warner Bros. HQ.
It (the pronoun, not the movie) might not have been able to defeat the juggernaut that is It (the movie, not the pronoun), but new release American Assassin didn’t do all that poorly, opening to $14.8 million against a $33 million budget. That’s not great, but considering it’s an actioner starring an up-and-coming leading man (The Maze Runner franchise’s Dylan O’Brien) who has yet to accrue widespread name recognition, it’s also not terrible. Time will tell whether American Assassin pulls in enough across its theatrical and home video releases to justify film adaptations for other books in Vince Flynn’s popular Mitch Rapp series.
The presence of A-list star Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t enough in the case of Darren Aronofsky's mother!, which opened to a disappointing $7.5 million on 2,368 screens. Though, really, “disappointing” maybe isn’t the best word, as it implies anyone thought this movie had the potential to bring in large numbers of people… which, if you’ve seen it, is very clearly not the case. Whatever the opposite of a crowd-pleaser is, that’s mother!. In fact, it became only one of only 19 films in CinemaScore’s history to receive an “F” grade from moviegoers. Something tells me Aronofsky wears that as a badge of honor. mother! is a very weird movie.
The rest of the top five went to holdovers Home Again (weekend gross $5.3 million, total gross $17.1 million) and The Hitman’s Bodyguard ($3.5 million, total gross $70.3 million). An interesting tidbit of information: if you look at the top seven films, they all have budgets of $35 million or lower.
The weekend's highest-grossing new limited release was Brad’s Status, which bowed to $100,179 on four screens for a weekend-best per-theatre average of $25,045. Also out in specialty release were Because of Gracia ($54,118 on 32 screens), Frederick Wiseman’s Ex Libris: The New York Public Library ($11,175 on a single screen), May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers ($10,500 on eight screens), Red Trees ($10,012 on nine screens), Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards ($7,440 on three screens), Vengeance: A Love Story ($5,000 on nine screens), Justice ($2,131 on ten screens) and Dayveon ($2,000 on three screens).