'IT' SCARES UP A RECORD-BREAKING $478 MILLION GLOBALLY
By Ishveer Sanghera
Stephen King’s classic novel collected £123.1 million on its first release day (8th September) for Warner Bros and New Line Cinema at the North American box office. According to Warner Bros, it’s the largest opening for a horror movie ever. According to box office analysts, this world record couldn’t have come at a better time when the film industry was suffering from its worst summer at the box office in 20 years. But with all the speculation and drama surrounding this R-rated movie, is the global population turning towards horror movies?
According to Psychology Today, Dr Glenn Walters analysed the three primary reasons that we are drawn to horror movies, including tension, created from the suspense and mystery, relevance, including the fear of death or cultural meaningfulness and unrealism. Whilst none of us may feel it, we are constantly drawn back to horror movies, concluding our pleasure and enjoyment from watching gore and violence.
More importantly, when looking back for evidence, IT has broken the 44 year world record set by The Exorcist to become the highest-grossing horror film of all time. Sue Kroll, president of worldwide marketing and distribution at Warner Bros, proudly announced to The Guardian “the history in the making” that IT had become. The success of IT quickly prompted New Line Cinema to confirm a fast-track sequel which has already been given a September 2019 release date.
Of the New York Times, A.O. Scott mentioned in his critic review “the movie assembles a squad of early and preadolescent ghostbusters as varied as an infantry platoon in a World War II combat picture”, he also mentioned that “IT doesn’t quite ascend to their level” indicating his view upon IT possibly not making it the best of films, no matter how high grossing.
However, it must also be mentioned that this is not the first attempt to crack Stephen King’s “IT” which critics argue couldn’t have done any better this time around. “The mammoth novel” as Andrew Barker, critic of Variety magazine mentioned, “has been reduced to a few indelible images…a killer clown, a balloon”. But he also praises its “killing at the box office”. Whilst it’s inevitable that IT has made a killing this time around, King fans should appreciate the effort and precision that went into this adaption, a clear praise to Andy Muschietti, the film’s director.
From a literary perspective, IT also picks up on a key element of the novel that often goes missing in films that the youth are often stressed with compensating for the injustices of adults and as such, much of IT takes place without adults present, or when they are, drunk and cruel. In the second fast-track sequel, Muschietti has an interesting task to see what adults these children grow into.