Box Office Report: ‘It’ is Unstoppable While ‘mother!’ Tanks

It Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise
Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in ‘It’ (Photo © 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc)

New Line and Warner Bros easily hung on to the top spot at the weekend box office with the record-setting horror film, It. The R-rated feature film adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling creepy clown novel rang up $60 million domestically over its second weekend in release. It’s now the largest September release in history, and it’s poised to take over the #1 spot on the R-rated horror list from The Exorcist within the next few days. That’s incredibly impressive given the movie’s only been in theaters since September 8th. As of September 17th, It has grossed $218 million domestically.

Coming in second was Lionsgate’s action thriller, American Assassin, based on the Mitch Rapp books by Vince Flynn. Audiences awarded American Assassin a B+ on CinemaScore while critics were not as kind, giving the film mostly negative reviews. American Assassin starring Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton sits at just 35% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

After sitting through the press screening for mother!, the weekend’s third place finisher, I walked out not at all sure what I’d just seen. In fact, I was left so unsure that I was unable to write a review. Moviegoers who bought tickets to the film’s opening weekend were also left perplexed, with the film earning a very rare audience-generated “F” score on CinemaScore.

Three key questions sprang to mind following the mother! screening I attended. One, who exactly is the target audience? Two, if this same finished film had been from a first-time director who didn’t have the reputation of Darren Aronofsky, would critics have been as generous in their rave reviews? And three, would this same film have even received a theatrical release without Aronofsky and Jennifer Lawrence’s names attached?

The answer to question one remains a mystery while it would be safe to say questions two and three would generate negative replies.

Box Office Top 10: September 15-17, 2017

  1. It – $60,000,000
  2. American Assassin – $14,800,000
  3. mother! – $7,500,000
  4. Home Again – $5,334,160
  5. The Hitman’s Bodyguard – $3,550,000
  6. Annabelle: Creation – $2,600,000
  7. Wind River – $2,553,586
  8. Leap! – $2,117,930
  9. Spider-Man Homecoming – $1,875,000
  10. Dunkirk – $1,305,000