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A shaky takeoff for 'American Made' sends 'It' back to the top of the box office

Stephen Kings It review
It appears that Pennywise the Clown wasn’t done wearing weekend box-office crown yet.

Director Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of It found its way back to the top of the box-office rankings after dropping to second place last week, and won a close race between three films for the top spot. Although the final tally of ticket sales has yet to be confirmed, industry estimates indicate that It won the weekend with a $17.3 million haul from U.S. theaters, beating the new Tom Cruise film American Made and last week’s winner, Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

The weekend ticket sales for It also pushed it past yet another milestone in its record-breaking run. The film — which is actually the first half of a two-part saga — is now in fourth place on the list of the highest-grossing “R”-rated movies of all time, having passed The Matrix Reloaded over the weekend. The $291.1 million earned by It so far currently ranks behind third-place film American Sniper ($350.1 million) on that list.

# Title  Weekend    U.S.  Total   Worldwide Total 
1. It $17.3M $291.1M $553.1M
2. American Made $17M $17M $81.7M
3. Kingsman: The Golden Circle $17M $66.7M $192.9M
4. The Lego Ninjago Movie $12M $35.5M $58.2M
5. Flatliners $6.7M $6.7M $9.8M
6. Battle of the Sexes $3.4M $4M $4M
7. American Assassin $3.3M $31.8M $44M
8. Home Again $1.7M $25.1M $25.1M
9. Til Death Do Us Part $1.5M $1.5M $1.5M
10. Mother! $1.4M $16.3M $34.8M

As for the weekend’s second-place film, the numbers are apparently too close to call as of Sunday night. American Made and Kingsman: The Golden Circle are both estimated to have raked in $17 million in ticket sales, but it’s uncertain which movie will have the edge once the final numbers are in.

Although the second-week haul for Kingsman is respectable, the results aren’t so positive for American Made, which gave Cruise his lowest opening weekend since 2012’s Jack Reacher despite earning positive reviews from professional critics and general audiences. The film, which casts Cruise as a 1980s drug smuggler caught between the CIA, Central American rebel forces, and some of the era’s most powerful drug cartels, currently has an 87-percent “Fresh” rating on review aggregator RottenTomatoes and a “B+” grade on audience polling site CinemaScore.

According to Deadline, the biggest obstacle to the film might have been an age issue, as less than 9 percent of the film’s audience was under age 25, and more than half of the film’s ticket-buying audience was over the age of 50.

It was a significantly worse debut for Flatliners, a remake of the 1990 horror film of the same name, which was panned by critics and audiences and earned just $6.7 million for its opening weekend. The film is expected to make a steep drop in it second week before vanishing altogether from the box-office reports, as it generated so little buzz in the lead-up to its premiere that few people even know the film exists.

This weekend was likely the quiet before the storm, as the upcoming week is expected to be a big one for Hollywood. First and foremost among the new releases is Blade Runner 2049, the much-anticipated sequel to sci-fi classic Blade Runner that’s earning extremely positive early reviews. Also hitting theaters is the survival drama The Mountain Between Us starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, and for the kids, My Little Pony: The Movie flies into theaters. Between those three films and the strong runs so far for It and Kingsman, among others, it’s probably going to be a big week at theaters.

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Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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