Pennywise will be handing out balloons in 75 overseas markets as well as the U.S. and Canada this weekend, a nearly full day-and-date release versus 2017’s staggered rollout on the original.
All in, industry sources are seeing a global debut that potentially scores the worldwide opening record for a horror pic with $200M+, besting the previous It‘s $189.7M start. However this time, overseas is expected to make more than domestic, which was the opposite case back in September 2017 when It posted the best domestic and September opening of all-time with $123.4M. U.S./Canada this time around 4,200 theaters is expected to deliver north of $90M, maybe $100M, and that’s due to the sequel’s 2 hours and 49 minute running time (the first one was 2 hours and 15 minutes), and the fact that there was a pent-up anticipation for this Stephen King reboot which originally was adapted for TV. It: Chapter 2 overseas ticket sales should be between $100M-$110M. The first hubs to go are in Asia, including Korea and Indonesia on Wednesday; followed by Germany, Italy, Russia, Brazil and Australia among the Thursday majors; with UK, Spain and Mexico on Friday, among others. The stragglers will be France on September 11 and Japan on November 1. The first It did not play in China, and that is not expected to change for the follow-up.
Pennywise comes back tomorrow night in the U.S./Canada at 5PM in roughly 3,700 locations. He’ll be playing in the full swath of Imax, Dolby, PLF, 4DX, Dine-in theaters etc. It posted an all-time high for a horror Thursday night preview stateside with $13.5M; those started at 7PM. Best demos for It: Chapter Two are younger males followed by younger females, similar to the 2017 pic, with solid interest across the board.
For Fandango, the sequel is their best horror pre-seller besting the advance ticket sales of It, Us, last year’s Halloween and The Nun. Ditto for Atom Tickets as they’re also seeing the best pre-sales ever for a horror film with It: Chapter Two beating their previous genre title-holder Halloween by 3x. In a recent Atom survey, women said that the sequel is the No. 1 pic they want to see this fall. For those polled by Fandango, It: Chapter Two is the No. 1 pic they want to see this fall, towering over Joker, Frozen II, Terminator: Dark Fate and Zombieland 2.
The best true foreign box office comparison for It: Chapter Two is the previous title. It opened No. 1 in virtually all markets and broke records on the first day out in a number of countries.
In like-for-like markets and at today’s rates, the first film bowed to $95M, so a $110M launch on It: Chapter Two would rep about a 15% increase in local currencies where there has been some fluctuation since (the previous movie in unadjusted dollars did about $105M in the same bucket of markets going this weekend). It went on to a $375M offshore gross. All in, the Andy Muschietti-directed pic made $702.4M
That film did best in UK, Germany, France, Mexico and Brazil. Horror indexes in Latin America and Europe with South East Asia likely to provide some extra muscle this time around. The adult cast which includes Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader and James McAvoy will add to the draw as will the property’s proven attraction from the last movie and the fact that international markets haven’t had a major day-and-date title since Hobbs & Shaw debuted six weeks ago. The pics longer running time isn’t expected to slow the pic’s play overseas which is the opposite attitude of some domestic box office prognosticators.
Some of the gang has been on the road with a stop in Muschietti’s native Argentina as well as Brazil, the UK and Germany. In London, a premiere was held on Monday at The Vaults where an immersive experience kicked off on August 31 with nine themed areas. Tickets sold out. In Hollywood there’s been a Derry carnival It: Chapter Two experience. Warners had something similar, except it was the haunted house, for the first It.