‘It: Chapter Two’ scares up $91 million with debut
A robust audience turned out to catch “It: Chapter Two” in movie theaters this weekend, but not quite as big as the first.
Warner Bros. says Sunday that “It: Chapter Two,” the only major new release, earned an estimated $91 million from North American ticket sales in its first weekend from 4,570 screens.
Trailing only its predecessor that debuted to a record $123.4 million in September 2017, the launch of “It: Chapter Two” is the second highest opening for a horror film ever and the month of September, which before “It” was not a strong month for blockbusters. Both were directed by Argentine filmmaker Andy Muschietti.
Jeff Goldstein, who oversees domestic distribution for Warner Bros., called the debut “sensational” and isn’t concerned that “Chapter Two” didn’t hit the heights of the first.
“How many movies open to $91 million? That was lightning in a bottle,” Goldstein said. “You don’t get lightning in a bottle twice. You get close though.”
Based on Stephen King’s novel, “It: Chapter Two” brings the Losers Club back to Derry 27 years later to take on the demonic clown Pennywise, and stars James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader as a few of the adult “losers.” The sequel cost around $79.5 million to make. Reviews were a little more mixed than for the first — 86% versus 64% on Rotten Tomatoes — but audiences were consistent. Both films got a B+ CinemaScore.
“Andy Muschietti does an incredible job of scaring the stuffing out of audiences,” Goldstein said. “I think our team, starting with New Line in making this and our marketing team in bringing it to audiences around the globe, have hit the mark right on. They nailed it.”
Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian noted that, unlike most horror films which tend drop off significantly after opening weekend, “It: Chapter Two,” like its predecessor and some of the recent high quality horror films could have “incredibly long playability.”
“It: Chapter Two” is also a big win for Warner Bros., which had a few disappointments this summer with “The Kitchen” and “Shaft,” but also have a few films that could really take off, including “Joker,” out Oct. 4, and another King adaptation, “Doctor Sleep,” out Nov. 8.
The rest of the top 10 was populated by holdovers: “Angel Has Fallen” took a distant second with $6 million and “Good Boys” placed third with $5.4 million. In limited release, the documentary “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” performed well in its first weekend, grossing $115,500 from seven locations.
After a down summer for the industry as a whole and a year that is still running 6% down, “It: Chapter Two” is a promising start to the fall movie season, which runs from the day after Labor Day weekend through November.
Saving his wheels
Man parks Smart car in kitchen so it won’t blow away
It started as a light-hearted challenge between a Florida couple, can a Smart car fit into their kitchen? The answer: Yes it can.
Patrick Eldridge parked his smart car in his kitchen to protect it from Hurricane Dorian because he didn’t want it to “blow away” and to prove that he can park his car there.
Jessica Eldridge said her car was already parked in the garage. To avoid cleaning their garage out, her husband proposed to park it in the house.
“I said there was no way he could. He said he could,” Jessica said. “So he opened the double doors and had it in. I was amazed that it could fit. He had it in with no problems.”
Dorian was skirting Florida’s coast Wednesday, narrowly missing Jacksonville as it heads northward along the Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina coastlines.
The Category 2 storm has devastated the Bahamas, where rescue crews have only begun taking the full measure of the damage.
With the car in the middle of the kitchen, Jessica Eldridge had to move around it to cook and serve dinner.
“I’m hoping he will pull it out pretty soon once the wind dies down,” she said. “There is room and it’s not in the way but my dogs are confused by it.”
Man calls police demanding they return his stolen pot
A man confused about Ohio drug laws has called a police department demanding that officers return the small amount of marijuana they “stole” from him.
WXIX-TV reported the man told a Sharonville police dispatcher in an expletive-laced call that it’s legal to possess 3.5 ounces of marijuana, and the amount officers seized was just 0.14 ounces.
Sharonville police posted a recording of the call on their Facebook page. The suburban Cincinnati department wryly noted: “People may be a bit in the weeds, so we would like to take this opportunity to clear the haze.”
While some Ohio cities have decriminalized pot possession, it remains illegal in the state.
Sharonville police said they “don’t make the rules” but must uphold them.
— Associated Press