Either there are fewer people afraid of clowns than previously thought or there were a lot of brave coulrophobes at movie theaters this weekend. The reason? The film, It, based on Stephen King’s classic novel, shattered expectations over the weekend, bringing in more than $123 million.
The film was already expected to be a hit, but estimates for It‘s opening weekend gross were almost half that amount at around $65 million.
Not surprisingly, this makes for the biggest opening weekend in history for a horror film; the previous record, Paranormal Activity 3, doesn’t even come close at $52 million.
In fact, not only was It‘s opening weekend big for a horror film, it was a bigger weekend take than any of the big budget tentpole summer releases except for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
The big difference is that It cost only $35 million to make, meaning it took in nearly four times its budget in just one weekend.
If you’ve seen the film or are familiar with the book at all, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a sequel is already being planned.
There’s an entire second half of the book that takes place 27 years later when the members of the Loser’s Club are adults, coming back to Derry to defeat Pennywise once and for all.
The plan for the film version of It was always to film the two eras as separate movies, but rather than put the cart before the horse, the first film was promoted as a standalone.
The 1990 ABC miniseries version of It followed the same track, with the first half focusing on the group as kids and the second half reuniting them as adults.
The studio has yet to officially green-light the sequel (though it’s all but a foregone conclusion at this point), but the script is currently being written. Bill Skarsgard is a lock to return as Pennywise the Dancing Clown and the child actors from the first movie will also appear in flashback sequences.