Stephen King’s IT has become the first horror film in history to cross the $300 million mark at the domestic box office after another solid weekend of ticket sales. Following the film’s stellar $123 million debut in its debut in the first weekend of September, IT has shown no signs of slowing down. Setting records off the bat include one for the biggest opener for a horror film ever, the film went on to smash other records, including the mark for the highest-grossing King movie of all time, as well as the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all time, surpassing a long-standing record held by the 1973 horror classic The Exorcist.
As a mainstay in the top 5 films at the domestic box office since the film’s release, it was only a matter of time before IT surpassed the $239.5 million made by the previous highest grossing horror film, the 1999 PG-13 rated The Sixth Sense which it did at the end of last week. But clearly IT – the story of how a group of pre-teens are terrorized by the demented Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgard) in the 1980s in Derry, Maine – isn’t finished making any box office statements yet; at least judging by this weekend’s ticket sales stateside and overseas.
According to The Wrap, IT became the first horror film ever – R rated or otherwise – to cross $300 million, after grossing $9.6 million for a third place finish at this weekend’s domestic box office. That puts IT’s total at $304.9 million domestically in its fifth weekend of release, a phenomenal achievement for a film that has a production budget of $35 million. Also with this weekend’s ticket sales, IT also joins an elite club that only includes Deadpool, The Passion of the Christ and American Sniper as the only R-rated films to cross the $300 million mark domestically.
Pennywise from IT with The Sixth Sense and The Exorcist IT Becomes First Horror Film To Pass $300 Million. In addition to crossing the $300 million mark domestically, IT also surpassed the $600 million mark at the global box office over the weekend. As of Sunday, the film has earned $298.8 million in overseas ticket sales.
While IT’s numbers are no doubt impressive for this day and age (particularly after the sluggish performance of the summer movie box office), the film still has quite a way to go to match the adjusted grosses of the classics it surpassed on its way to the top of the horror movie heap. For example, The Sixth Sense’s $293.5 million would equate to a $511.8 million adjusted gross; while The Exorcist’s tally for its theatrical presentations (there was more than one, including a director’s cut) is $232.9 million at the domestic box office, which equates to $983.2 million in today’s dollars.
Topping them all, though is director Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, which grossed $260 million domestically back in the day, but would be $1.1 billion when adjusted for inflation.