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Weekend Box Office: 'It' Scares Up Record $13.5M Thursday Night

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 9/8/2017 Pamela McClintock
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(Video provided by Screenplay)

There was nothing clownish about the first box-office returns for It, which scared up a record-shattering $13.5 million in Thursday night previews.

That's the biggest preview number ever for an R-rated title, besting Deadpool ($12.7 million), a horror pic and for a September release.

New Line and Warner Bros.' film adaptation of Stephen King's novel is widely expected to rouse the domestic box office back to life after seven straight down weekends, resulting in the worst summer in recent memory as attendance fell to a 25-year low. 'It' © Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures 'It'

It, rated R, is projected to open to $65 million-$70 million, a record for the month of September. The current crown holder is Hotel Transylvania 2 with $48.5 million. (Insiders at Warner Bros. are being more conservative in suggesting between $60 million and $65 million, noting It's R rating.)

Insidious Chapter 2 (2013) boasts the top horror September with $40.3 million. That film took in $1.5 million in Thursday-night previews.

One wild card this weekend is Hurricane Irma, which could hurt overall revenue by as much as 5 percent. However, analysts don't expect the disruption to be significant. And in terms of It, they also note that horror films generally under-index in Florida.

Directed by Argentine filmmaker Andy Muschietti (Mama), It tells the story of the Losers' Club, a group of misfit children who battle the demonic Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgard) in the small town of Derry, Maine. The horror pic will easily mark a beast for a Stephen King adaptation.

The weekend's other new nationwide offering is the romantic comedy Home Again, starring Reese Witherspoon. Hallie Meyers-Shyer directed and wrote the movie, with her mother, filmmaker Nancy Meyers, producing.

Tracking suggests Home Again will debut in the $10 million range for Open Road Films.

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