After a second-straight week at the top of the box office, one thing should be abundantly clear: IT ain’t clowning around.
The high-grossing (and kind of gross) horror flick scared the willickers out of its competition and officially became the largest September release ever. IT dragged an estimated $60 million into the sewers. That pushes its total haul to $218.7 million—making it already the year’s eighth highest-earning flick. Now we know why Pennywise’s victims float down there: They’re using all that currency as flotation devices.
IT’s continued strength turned the weekend’s strongest newcomer, American Assassin, into an afterthought. The film earned $14.8 million—about a quarter of what IT earned—to slide into second place.
In a woefully disappointing debut, director Darren Aronofsky’s annoyingly punctuated mother! landed in third place. It’s almost as if the movie-making public stepped on a collective crack, breaking the film’s back from the get-go.
Keep in mind that Aronofsky’s last two features, Black Swan and Noah, both topped $100 million in North America, and his latest film stars America’s Oscar-winning darling (and Aronofsky’ main squeeze), Jennifer Lawrence. And many critics sort of liked this freaky, metaphorical horror show: It currently holds a 69% “freshness” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
But the film also felt like a guns-blazing frontal attack on Christianity, and Plugged In’s own Adam Holz hated the thing. Most of America seemed to agree with him: Folks who saw mother! gave the film an F, according to CinemaScore—only the 19th movie to earn the infamous rating. (We’d list the others, but you probably haven’t heard of most of them.)
All this to say that mother! may be the mother of all misfires. It earned a woeful $7.5 million to finish third.