‘It Chapter Two’ Not Part Of Losers Club: No. 11 In Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament

When it comes to evaluating the financial performance of top movies, it isn’t about what a film grosses at the box office. The true tale is told when production budgets, P&A, talent participations and other costs collide with box office grosses and ancillary revenues from VOD to DVD and TV. To get close to that mysterious end of the equation, Deadline is repeating our Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament for 2019, using data culled by seasoned and trusted sources.


It Chapter Two
New Line

It, the 2017 feature take on the classic 1986 Stephen King novel, turned the sleepy post-Labor Day frame into a destination for event films with a horror pic and September-record opening of $123.4 million domestic and $189.7 million worldwide. So the sequel, which focused on “The Losers Club” as adults contending with PTSD over their childhood terror Pennywise, was destined to be a success. The question was: how big? Although It Chapter Two made less than the first movie, the sequel did post the second-best opening ever for a horror film and a September release with $91M stateside and $185M globally. Part of the box office slowdown between installments stemmed from Chapter Two‘s running time: 10 minutes shy of three hours. Not only was that too long for a horror movie, but it also was a challenge for exhibitors to program in the summer offseason (the first It had a more manageable running time of 2 hours, 15 minutes). While CinemaScore audience exits showed that moviegoers enjoyed both parts equally with a B+, Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak showed a middling 3 1/2-star response. Nonetheless, it saw a solid turnout for an R-rated movie among the under-25 crowd at 50%, with 64% of domestic ticket buyers between ages 18-34.


Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them:


It Chapter Two at $79 million cost 125% more than its first installment, and part of that had to do with its star cast of Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader and James McAvoy. The sequel also grossed less — $473M worldwide compared with the the first It‘s $701.8M — but still brought the horror franchise to a $1.17 billion WW total. Because of that decline, participations after cash breakeven were lower than the first movie, $30M vs. $50M, the bulk of those allocated to King, director Andy Muschietti and his producer-sister Barbara Muschietti. Global revenues were $429M (which include the studio’s share of the box office at $216M WW), while overall global costs were at $260M. Many have asked about video costs: that’s the marketing and distribution expense associated with the title’s worldwide home entertainment release, here estimated at $23M. Net profit for It Chapter Two winds up at $169M to It‘s $293.7M.

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