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IT scares up $60 million in second US weekend as Darren Aronofsky's mother! bombs


Story by Jack Foley

STEPHEN King’s IT has easily remained on top of the US box office with a massive $60 million in its second weekend.

The figure meant that the film continued to make history by posting the biggest sophomore outing ever for a horror title.

What’s more, in a year defined by the failure of many mainstream movies (and sequels in particular), this marks yet another win for the horror genre off the back of other 2017 hits Annabelle: Creation, Get Out and Split.

Furthermore, in its first 10 days, IT has earned $218.7 million in the US alone, passing Get Out ($175.5 million) to become the second R-rated horror film of all time behind The Exorcist, not accounting for inflation. It’s also the top-grossing September release in history.

Overseas, the news was just as good. The film took $60.3 million in its second weekend from 56 markets for a foreign tally of $152.6 million and a whopping $371.3 million worldwide – even more incredible when considering its $35 million budget. In Mexico, it set a record-breaking horror opening of $13.8 million.

By contrast, another horror title – Darren Aronofsky’s mother! – bombed. The elevated psychological horror-thriller, which has been described as this generation’s Rosemary’s Baby by some critics, could only muster an estimated $7.5 million to mark the lowest nationwide launch of Jennifer Lawrence’s career (beating even the critically-derided The House at the End of the Street).

From a script by Aronofsky, mother! is described as an allegorical tale about a married couple named mother (Lawrence) and Him (Javier Bardem) whose tranquil existence is tested when two mysterious strangers (played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) turn up at their country Victorian home to meet Bardem’s character, a poet gripped by writer’s block.

mother! came in third at the box office behind American Assassin which took second spot with a solid $14.8 million.

That film, starring Dylan O’Brien as a CIA operative who teams with a veteran agent (Michael Keaton) to stop terrorists from starting a world war, is based on late author Vince Flynn’s novel of the same name and proved a hit with audiences.

Home Again, a romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon from first-time director Hallie Meyers-Shyer, placed fourth with an estimated $5.3 million, while action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard placed fifth with an estimated $3.6 million. Despite a lukewarm critical response, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which pairs Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, jumped the $70 million mark in its fifth weekend.

Next story: Filming begins on The Hate U Give with Anthony Mackie and Amandla Stenberg