Summer is behind us and the fall season is picking up where it left off. It: Chapter Two may not have broken the fall nor even the September record for opening weekend, but it is the best opener since The Lion King back in July, even if it missed becoming the second film ever in September or October to begin with over $100 million. The question now is: How far will the tepid response to the nearly three-hour-long horror film take it now? But It certainly helped contribute to what was the second-biggest Top 10 weekend in September ever.
The two Deadpools and the two It films now represent the four best R-rated openings of all-time. It: Chapter Two, now fourth on that list, began its run with $91 million, $30 million less than the first chapter. Just for a little perspective, the now third-best opening in September ever was last year’s The Nun and that was $53.8 million. No other film to open this month has ever achieved $200 million total, let alone the $327.48 million than the first It did back in 2017. Chapter Two is going to be No. 1 for at least another week. Then we will see if word-of-mouth drops it enough for Ad Astra or even Downton Abbey to beat it on September 20. Critics have not been as on board with the second film with the Tomatometer dropping from 85% on its first reviews to 64% now. This is Warner Bros.’ 16th $90-plus million opening and the numbers are against it reaching $300 million, but they still have every reason to be celebrating what was accomplished with these two films, as they will combined soon reach the billion-dollar mark.
Much of the Top 10 remained the same, with only one new release this week pushing Spider-Man: Far From Home off the list (again) and seeing another title — the surprise of the late summer — return.
Angel Has Fallen could be seen as a surprise itself as folks continue to go see it, and it aims to surpass the domestic gross of London Has Fallen. Good Boys may finally pass it next week, as it was just a few hundred thousand behind. The well-received R-rated comedy remains on a path to surpass $75 million.
Other big hits on the list naturally include The Lion King, the seventh-highest-grossing film of all time is making a run for $1.6 billion in global receipts. Hobbs & Shaw has collected over $700 million worldwide for Universal, still far less than the previous two films, but more than enough to turn a profit.
But the big surprise is Roadside’s The Peanut Butter Falcon, which is becoming the indie success story of the summer. The film added another 61 theaters and $2.4 million to drive its total to $12.4 million. A24’s The Farewell officially passed Late Night to become the highest-grossing Sundance film of the summer with over $16.7 million. Falcon, which premiered at SXSW, has a real shot to become the overall fest champion of the season.
September opened with the Conjuring universe in a big way as The Nun started with $53.8 million, handily taking the weekend from Jennifer Garner’s vigilante actioner, Peppermint, which grossed $13.42 million for second place. It just barely beat Crazy Rich Asians in its fourth week, which drove its total to over $135 million. The $106.33 million made by the top 10 films actually amounted to the fifth best September weekend of all-time. The low Tomatometer scores of both The Nun (26%) and Peppermint (12%) still were not enough to drag down a number of 90%-plus film in the top 10 including Crazy Rich Asians, Searching, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and BlacKkKlansman, resulting in an average Tomatometer score of 67.3%. This year’s top 10 grossed an estimated $125 million and averaged 69.8%.
A Pulitzer Prize–winning book goes up against a New York Magazine article in a battle of the adaptations next week. In the film based on the article, Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu play strippers who try to one-up their wealthy clientele in Hustlers, which some are expecting to have a very strong opening weekend — unlikely to top It: Chapter Two in its second weekend, but more than enough to best the fictional, book-based The Goldfinch about a boy who survives a terrorist incident at an art museum and steals a valuable painting in his escape. The film, from the director of Brooklyn, should perform well enough for third place.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]