‘It’ repeats No. 1; ‘mother!’ disappoints

LOS ANGELES — “It” continues to post terrifyingly huge numbers, while “mother!” opens with a thud.

“It,” from Warner Bros. and New Line, expects to finish its second weekend with $60 million from 4,103 locations. That would make its domestic gross so far $218.7 million — a record for the highest earning September release ever. The old record-holder was 1984’s “Crocodile Dundee” with $174.8 million. Broken down by day this weekend, “It” earned $19.4 million on Friday and $26.2 million on Saturday. Sunday’s take is estimated to be about $14.5 million. 389 Imax screens are expected to account for just over $3 million of the film’s take in North America this weekend.

Overseas, “It” is pulling in an additional $60.3 million in 56 markets. That raises its international total to $152.6 million and the worldwide tally to $371.3 million.

Based on Stephen King’s novel, “It” opened last weekend with an enormous domestic pull of $123.4 million. The R-rated title was reportedly made for about $35 million, stars Bill Skarsgard as the evil clown Pennywise who terrorizes children in Derry, Maine. The rest of the cast includes Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, Jaeden Lieberher, and Jackson Robert Scott.

Meanwhile “mother!” is struggling. The Paramount release directed by Darren Aronofsky is expected to earn $7.5 million from 2,368 locations. That’s an all-time low for wide releases starring Jennifer Lawrence. One contributing factor to the movie’s bottom line is that audiences entirely rejected it, earning an F CinemaScore. That’s despite a critical split that landed the polarizing movie a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes. The launch as driven by a marketing campaign that shrouded the R-rated movie in mystery and didn’t give much away regarding plot. In addition to Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer also star.

Another fresh R-rated launch, “American Assassin” — a joint production between CBS Films and Lionsgate — is expecting an opening of $14.8 million from 3,154 locations. The audience breakdown was 55% Male and 29% under the age of 35. The film is an adaptation of Vince Flynn’s 2010 novel, and stars Dylan O’Brien as a CIA black ops recruit who is trained by a Cold War veteran (Michael Keaton). The film’s opening is comparable to 2014’s “John Wick,” which opened to $14.4 million on its way to launch a franchise with $43 million in domestic earnings.

Open Road’s “Home Again” should land in fourth this weekend with $5.3 million from 3,036 locations. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” from Lionsgate, continues to stay in the top five with about $3.6 million from 3,272 spots. The rest of the top ten is made up of “Annabelle: Creation” ($2.6 million); Taylor Sheridan’s “Wind River,” which has now out-grossed the same director’s “Hell of High Water” ($2.6 million); “Leap!” ($2.1 million); “Spider-Man: Homecoming” ($1.9 million); and “Dunkirk” ($1.3 million).

In limited release, Annapurna’s “Brad’s Status” is on tracking to earn $100,179 this weekend from four locations. Mike White wrote and directed the movie starring Ben Stiller as a man who is constantly comparing his life to those of his college friends. Austin Abrams, Jenna Fischer, Luke Wilson, and Michael Sheen also star in the flick, which has been generally well reviewed (83% on Rotten Tomatoes).

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