Coming off this summers deadly box office, with domestic ticket sales the lowest theyve been in more than a decade, studios and beleaguered theater owners are looking to the highly anticipated horror film It to scare up some serious business as the fall moviegoing season gets under way.
The R-rated adaptation of Stephen Kings 1986 novel of the same name is projected to debut this weekend to at least $60 million, and potentially go on to amass tens, if not hundreds, of millions more during its run in theaters, on home entertainment platforms and in other ancillary markets. A follow-up film is already expected to begin production in the first quarter of next year.
Stocks of the countrys major theater circuits AMC, Regal Entertainment, Cinemark and Imax have been getting pummeled by the downturn. Summer box office, which ended on Labor Day, was down more than 20% from 2016, and year-to-date revenue is off 6%.
King, who was not involved with the making of the movie, says hes excited about the film, which he describes as fabulous. The author even recorded a short video that introduced an extended theatrical trailer of the film in August. He says he has only one issue with the upcoming adaptation of his book. Geez, I dont even think they sent me any swag, he jokes in a recent phone interview with Variety. But maybe thats a good thing. (Producer Barbara Muschietti assures us that King has since been sent a truckload of swag.)
Film adaptations of King stories have run the gamut from Oscar-worthy see The Shawshank Redemption and Misery to disastrous, such as the recent attempt to launch The Dark Tower as a movie franchise and TV show. The first film, released in late July, was ignored by audiences and panned by the critics. This weekend, It is expected to break the record for biggest opening weekend of a non-sequel, R-rated horror film, currently held by The Conjuring, which debuted to $41 million in 2013.
Not bad for what producer Seth Grahame-Smith calls an R-rated movie starring 13-year-old kids. It was also a film that underwent many changes, was stalled, and switched directors since it was first announced by Warner Bros. in early 2009. The result, says Grahame-Smith, is a culmination of more than six years of trying to get the book made and made the right way.
The film is the first in a planned duology.The novel itself centers on seven kids coming of age in 1950s small-town Derry, Maine, who dub themselves the Losers Club. They battle an evil entity known as It, which can take the form of whatever you fear, though its most commonly portrayed as a grinning clown known as Pennywise. And 27 years later, when theyre adults, It returns to their hometown. ABC aired a miniseries adaptation in 1990, starring Tim Curry as Pennywise, and cut between the two timelines. But the new film focuses only on the early years of the story.
When Warners announced the movie eight years ago, it marked a reunion for producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee and writer David Kajganich, all of whom had worked together on 2007s The Invasion for the studio. Shortly thereafter, Grahame-Smith and his producing partner David Katzenberg came on board. In 2012, director Cary Fukunaga signed on to direct after he proved he could handle an adaptation of a beloved novel with 2011s acclaimed Jane Eyre, and went to work on the screenplay with Chase Palmer, whittling down Kings 1,100-plus-page opus.
In 2014, as the project took on more steam thanks to the success of the first season of Fukunagas HBO series True Detective, Warner Bros. moved It over to its New Line division. New Line has a strong horror history thanks to its highly successful The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise earning the film company the nickname The House That Freddy Built.
In May 2015, Fukunaga announced the casting of Will Poulter (The Revenant) as Pennywise. But before the month was over, Fukunaga had dropped out (Poulter eventually followed). Rumors circulated he was unhappy with New Lines proposed budget of $32 million, but in a September 2015 interview with Variety, Fukunaga dismissed that notion. It was the creative that we were really battling, he said. They wanted me to make a much more inoffensive, conventional script. But I dont think you can do proper Stephen King and make it inoffensive. Upon the announcement, King tweeted: The remake of IT may be dead or undead but well always have Tim Curry. Hes still floating down in the sewers of Derry.
But, not unlike a character in a King novel, It rose again. Like so many in Hollywood, Argentine filmmaker Andy Muschietti and his sister-producer, Barbara Muschietti, had been tracking the project.
Their 2013 film Mama proved a good mesh of horror and character and grossed more than $146 million worldwide. We had a good relationship with New Line and set a meeting, notes Barbara Muschietti, the downside being that they had only four days to prep, during which time her brother reread the entire book.
Of their initial meeting, Andy Muschietti acknowledges, I started on the wrong foot. I opened my notebook, and it was full of all these napkins with my writing and drawings. There was a 20-second silence where they all fell to the ground and I was picking up what was essentially my pitch.
But Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg werent worried. Andy stood out immediately because he came in talking about the book, Grahame-Smith says. People would come in and talk about set pieces and jumps and clowns. Andy came in talking about the kids and the Losers Club and his experience being a teenager in Argentina reading this book. We knew it was in his heart, and he was going to care for it the way we wanted to care for it. Katzenberg adds that the napkins were actually impressive. Hes a fantastic artist; some of those doodles really got me excited.
Andy Muschietti signed on to direct in July 2015 with an eye toward a summer 2016 shoot. We wanted to do it before our cast went off to school, Katzenberg says. Gary Dauberman, who penned Annabelle and its hit sequel for New Line, was brought on board to rework the script, though Fukunaga and Palmer retain writing credits.
I looked at it as picking up the ball and running with it, Dauberman says. There were some smart decisions made early on that we kept one of them being that the focus would be on the kids for this movie. At one time, Warner Bros. had hoped to make one film of the entire story. But Katzenberg says that idea was quickly scrapped, noting, It would have been a five-hour movie. Even with just telling the first part of the story, Dauberman says it was tough to eliminate parts of the book. Your choice is between great and great, he says.
The biggest challenge was incorporating all the different tones King covers in his stories. Its a horror movie, but [also] a character-driven drama with comedy and emotion, says Andy Muschietti. Barbara concurs, I would say his best adaptations dont try to settle on one tone. His books are a roller coaster, and his movies should reflect that.
What does King think makes a good adaptation of his work?
I think its good when they stick as close to the story as they can because thats what they bought, he says. You dont want to think they just bought the launching pad, but they bought the rocket too.
The author also appreciates effort: Im a workhorse myself, and I like people who work hard. I like people who are creative, who are visual, who come to it with a professional attitude and have an artistic flair.
A significant change to the story was in updating the start of the events 30 years. When King wrote the book in the 80s, that nostalgia was about the 50s, Grahame-Smith explains. Now its about the 80s.
The period resonates more than they could have imagined: It was in production in Canada in July 2016 when an unknown series set in the 80s called Stranger Things premiered on Netflix. Comparisons were inevitable, and the projects even share an actor; Finn Wolfhard, who was chosen out of hundreds to play Richie Tozier in the film, stars as Mike in the hit series. I think we knew he had done something called Stranger Things, but we didnt really know what it was, Barbara Muschietti admits. She adds that when production started, Wolfhard had 400 followers, and by the time it ended, he had 1 million.
As for the correlations, Katzenberg says, Its kind of a bummer some people think Stranger Things came before It did. But he adds, If that brings more people to see our movie, great.
King also thinks nostalgia for the 1990 miniseries plays a big role in the current buzz. He points to the first teaser for It, which broke the record for most-viewed trailer online in a single day with 197 million views. When that hit and everyone went bonkers, I think a lot of that excitement came from people who were 14 when the miniseries came on and it scared the shit out of them, King says.
But the filmmakers took pains to differentiate the movie from the miniseries. The last thing anybody wants to do is riff on what Tim Curry did, Grahame-Smith says. You had to create something new and iconic. Andy Muschietti notes a lot of that fell to Bill Skarsgrd, who was cast as Pennywise. Bill built the character to have a more intellectual dimension or hint at where he comes from. Theres a lot of thinking about the character thats not necessarily reflected in the movie. I wont rule out more developing will happen in the second half.
While the second film technically hasnt been greenlit, it seems inevitable as It races toward a record-breaking opening.
The producers are coy about even discussing a part two, while Andy Muschietti says, I dont think its a sequel; its a second half to the story.
So hed be up for returning? The director doesnt blink. One hundred percent, he says.
Here is the original post:
Stephen King’s ‘It’ Arrives at a Terrifying Time for the Movie Business – Variety
- 'Us': Jordan Peele switches horror spotlight to a black family - March 22nd, 2019
- 1980s horror movie poster logos and typography. - March 13th, 2019
- Aquaman Spinoff Horror Movie The Trench Is In Development - March 9th, 2019
- The Best Scary Horror Movies On Netflix Now In 2019 - February 26th, 2019
- The Ape Man - Wikipedia - January 29th, 2019
- Top 15 Horror Movies to See in 2019! | Arrow in the Head - January 10th, 2019
- The 10 Best Horror Movies of 2018 - vulture.com - December 26th, 2018
- Best horror movies: scary films to stream or buy in 2018 ... - August 24th, 2018
- Amazon.com Horror Movies & Films on DVD and Blu-Ray - July 26th, 2018
- Box Office: 'It' Is Now The Highest-Grossing R-Rated ... - July 22nd, 2018
- | Reviewing the Hell Out of Horror Movies. - July 16th, 2018
- Arachnophobia (film) - Wikipedia - June 24th, 2018
- The Last Horror Movie - Wikipedia - June 19th, 2018
- Horror Domain | Horror Movie News, Trailers, Reviews ... - June 18th, 2018
- 100 Best Horror Movies of All Time - September 20th, 2017
- Sorensen: Horror movies don't deserve bad reputation - The Daily Iowan - September 7th, 2017
- 'It' is a waking nightmare, curated from a catalogue of horror-movie tropes - Washington Post - September 7th, 2017
- 'It was like something you see in a horror movie': Irma survivors tell of devastation - The Guardian - September 7th, 2017
- Rough flight 'like a horror movie': Etihad Airways passenger - The West Australian - September 7th, 2017
- /Answers: Our Favorite Horror Movie Villains - /FILM - September 6th, 2017
- Review: 'It' doesn't clown around with horror-movie clichs - Seattle Times - September 6th, 2017
- Horror Movie Magic: The CGI that has made films even scarier - SYFY WIRE (blog) - September 6th, 2017
- Letter: Don't star in a (traffic) horror movie - Mountain Xpress - September 6th, 2017
- Thelma Trailer: Norway's Oscar Submission is a Horror Movie - /FILM - September 6th, 2017
- Darren Aronofsky's 'mother!' Early Buzz: A Delirious, Divisive Horror Movie Designed to Attack Its Audience - /FILM - September 6th, 2017
- Can 'It' Reverse the Trend of Terrible September Horror Films? - Film School Rejects - September 6th, 2017
- Annabelle 2 Beats Get Out as 2017's Biggest Horror Movie - MovieWeb - September 5th, 2017
- Police warning over 'killer clown' craze set to return after horror movie IT released - Coventry Telegraph - September 5th, 2017
- Beautiful Diana, trapped in a horror movie: Mallick - Toronto Star - September 5th, 2017
- Sequels and Lies: What Hollywood's Disastrous Summer Really Means for the Future of Movies - The Ringer (blog) - September 5th, 2017
- 'Killer clown' craze set to return as remake of horror movie IT is released in UK - Metro - September 3rd, 2017
- It movie early reviews: This clown horror film is frighteningly good - The Indian Express - September 3rd, 2017
- 'The bedroom was like a scene from a horror movie' - Mum speaks about terrifying condition that almost killed her ... - Independent.ie - September 3rd, 2017
- Horror News Network's Fall 2017 Horror Movie Preview - Horror News Network - September 3rd, 2017
- 'Friend Request' Trailer: Witches and Social Media Team Up for a Horror Movie - /FILM - September 3rd, 2017
- 'The bedroom was like a scene from a horror movie' - Mum speaks about terrifying incident that almost killed her ... - Independent.ie - September 2nd, 2017
- Netflix's Little Evil puts a new comic spin on the evil-kid trope - The Verge - September 2nd, 2017
- Horror on Netflix: September 2017 Additions - 1428 Elm - September 2nd, 2017
- Horror Movies and Video Games Get the Goosebumps Cover Treatment - Dread Central - September 2nd, 2017
- How They Did It: Shooting a Flashlit Prison Horror Movie, Against the Night, on the Sony a7S - MovieMaker Magazine - September 1st, 2017
- Why Are Horror Movie Characters So Dumb? | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - September 1st, 2017
- Couple produces horror film for festival - Newnan Times-Herald - September 1st, 2017
- Reading Stephen King's It is an exhausting way to spend a summer - The Verge - September 1st, 2017
- Run-of-the-mill horror film 'Temple' delivers the same old evil spirits - Los Angeles Times - August 31st, 2017
- 'It' horror movie can't scare real-life clowns - Fox News - August 31st, 2017
- Brooklyn Horror Film Festival screening Kane Hodder documentary, Steven Yeun-starring Mayhem - EW.com - August 31st, 2017
- With 'The Shape of Water,' Guillermo del Toro Realizes a Lifelong Monster Dream - Variety - August 31st, 2017
- It's like something out of a horror movie - Crowborough Life - August 31st, 2017
- It took four years to restore horror classic Suspiria watch an exclusive clip - EW.com (blog) - August 31st, 2017
- Fall Movie Guide: 35 Superhero, Scifi, and Fantasy Movies to Look Out For - Gizmodo - August 31st, 2017
- The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) - IMDb - August 30th, 2017
- 7 scary Irish horror movies - IrishCentral - August 30th, 2017
- 'mother!' TV Spots & Viral Site Offer New Clues to Darren Aronofsky's Mysterious Horror Movie - Collider.com - August 30th, 2017
- Stephen King 'Bans' Trump from Seeing His New Horror Flick - Fox News Insider - August 29th, 2017
- 10 Feminist Horror Movies That Will Make You Appreciate the Genre in a Whole New Way - MarieClaire.com - August 28th, 2017
- Hudson Valley Won't Be 'Quiet Place' During Horror Movie Production - Greenburgh Daily Voice - August 28th, 2017
- A Tribute to Tobe Hooper, Whose 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' Was, and Is, the Horror Film of Its Time - Variety - August 28th, 2017
- Purga, the new Mexican Netflix for horror movie lovers - Vallarta Daily - August 28th, 2017
- It remake tipped to make 38million in biggest September opening weekend of all time after critics hail the horror ... - The Sun - August 28th, 2017
- All of the Clues that 'AHS: Cult' Features Your Favorite Horror Movie Villains - HarpersBAZAAR.com - August 28th, 2017
- Only Clowns Can Attend This Special Screening Of Horror Film 'It' - HuffPost - August 26th, 2017
- 'Red Christmas' Review: Australia's Latest Horror Export Isn't Much of a Present - IndieWire - August 26th, 2017
- This Is a Golden Age of Low-Budget Horror - WIRED - August 26th, 2017
- IT movie: BIG NEWS on Stephen King horror's box office - how many people will it terrify? - Express.co.uk - August 25th, 2017
- Mother!: everything we know about Jennifer Lawrence's insane, top secret horror movie - Telegraph.co.uk - August 24th, 2017
- Exclusive: Spooky 'Temple' Clip Teases a Paranormal Predicament - Collider.com - August 24th, 2017
- Thai-set horror film 'Ghost House' adroitly keeps the audience on edge - Los Angeles Times - August 24th, 2017
- Todd Tucker: The Terror of Hallow's Eve is a horror movie with a message - 1428 Elm - August 24th, 2017
- Horror movie fans connect at Peter Vullo's 'Thursday Night Terrors' - Buffalo News - August 24th, 2017
- Brutal Beauty: 10 Visually Stunning Horror Movies You Can't Unsee - Collider.com - August 24th, 2017
- 'One of the best horror films of recent years' is showing on TV on Wednesday night - JOE - August 24th, 2017
- How to Become a Horror Movie-Worthy Exorcist IRL - Inverse - August 22nd, 2017
- 10 sci-fi, fantasy and horror films featuring a total eclipse - SYFY WIRE (blog) - August 22nd, 2017
- 17 films to catch at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 - Den of Geek UK - August 22nd, 2017
- FearFest are hosting FREE horror films at a spooky drive in - Gloucestershire Live - August 22nd, 2017
- The 'Stranger Things' Kids Meet Famous Horror Movie Villains In 'Slasher Things' - UPROXX - August 22nd, 2017
- Here's How Real the Exorcisms and Demons Are in Horror Movies ... - Inverse - August 22nd, 2017
- The truth behind horror movie Annabelle: Creation, a real-life tale of demonic doll's reign of terror ending in 'man ... - Birmingham Mail - August 22nd, 2017
- Stranger Things Meets 1980s Horror in the Excellent Mash-Up Slasher Things - Gizmodo - August 22nd, 2017
- This horror movie is 20 years old this week, and proves that sometimes film critics get it very wrong - JOE - August 20th, 2017
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero