It: Chapter 2’s release date looms, and Stephen King and horror movies fans aren’t the only ones highly anticipating the feature’s arrival. Executives at New Line Cinema and its parent company want the opening weekend to arrive soon. Industry projections suggest the sequel will sell $200 million worth of tickets over the inaugural three days.
The $200 million projection reflects global ticket sales. Based on the opening, It: Chapter 2 should finish its worldwide theatrical run with a $500 million gross.
The budget for It: Chapter Two is in the $60 million range, a significant increase over the $35 million spent on the first film. Regardless of the budget increase, the sequel will turn a slight profit the first week it is released. Even with theaters and international distributors taking a cut, the film should cover production and marketing costs within seven days. If not, two weeks would be more than enough.
Amazingly, the film will sell massive amounts of tickets while boasting a three-hour running time. Usually, such a length eliminates showtimes. Theaters probably booked two or more screens in the same multiplex to accommodate ticket buyers. Avengers: Endgame ran on several screens at one time in the same theater. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, another epic film, found itself playing on one screen per theater and suffered somewhat at the box office. The Quentin Tarantino film saw its weekly screening numbers reduced. Fewer screenings meant fewer opportunities to sell tickets. The demand for It: Chapter 2 projects to be huge. The first film earned hundreds of millions of dollars in theatrical revenue alone.
Earnings for the sequel continue long past the theatrical release. Streaming, on-demand, merchandising, and home entertainment releases should bring many more millions. And then there’s the potential for new revenue for the first film. Sales on It DVDs and Blu-ray’s will increase when the sequel hits screens.
Stephen King likely looks forward to new royalty checks on the original novel. When the first film debuted, It returned to the top 10 fiction bestseller list.
Stephen King’s body of work includes scores of novels, novellas, and short stories. It proves to be his most popular work. Does the fear of clowns drive this, or does the audience sympathize on a deep level with the “Loser’s Club?” The answer is probably a combination of both.
Will the It series continue, though? The two films cover all the material in the novel. Hollywood’s desire for revenue could launch spinoffs and more.