Whatever force—depression, weather, online review aggregators—that’s been taking a bite out of this summer’s box office receipts appears to have been repelled by the power of scary clowns; Deadline reports that Andy Muschietti’s Stephen King adaptation It is on track to have one of the most successful opening weekends ever to greet a Hollywood horror film.
Analysts are speculating that the film will bring in $47 million tonight alone, with a projected weekend take of over $100 million. (The deciding factor will probably be Hurricane Irma, which might keep a number of normally voracious Florida movie-goers out of theaters.) That puts It on track to have the second-highest R-rated opening weekend ever (after Deadpool), and the highest for a horror movie.
Now, It has a long way to go if it wants to surpass, say, The Exorcist—which, if you adjust for inflation, pulled in roughly $320 million back in 1974—but it’s already well on its way to blowing past modern horror success stories like The Conjuring. It’s been a while since a major studio like Warner Bros. made a big, prestige marketing push behind a horror movie, but it appears to have paid off; the film’s warm reception from critics presumably helped, alongside America’s long-standing love of cheerful, helpful clowns.