"It" does it again.
Despite dropping 51% in earnings in its second weekend in theaters, the Warner Bros.' Stephen King adaptation kept the top spot in this week's box office charts, surpassing analysts' projections of $55 million by $5 million for a to-date total of $218.7 million in the U.S. and Canada.
The $35-million film about Pennywise the Dancing Clown who terrorizes kids in the fictional town of Derry, Maine, crushed records for the biggest September opening and the largest launch for a horror film ever. Directed by Andy Muschietti and starring Bill Skarsgard ("Hemlock Grove"), who puts his own demonic spin on the killer clown role originally brought to life by Tim Curry in a 1990 TV miniseries, "It" boasts a B+ rating on CinemaScore and an 85% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Newcomer "American Assassin," directed by Michael Cuesta and released by Lionsgate and CBS Films, debuted at No. 2 and brought in $14.8 million, in range of analysts' expectations of $10 million to $15 million. The R-rated action film, about a man (Dylan O'Brien) who becomes a special operative after his girlfriend is killed in a terrorist attack, earned mixed reviews on CinemaScore (B+) and Rotten Tomatoes (35% "rotten"). Michael Keaton and Sanaa Lathan also star.
Paramount's psychological thriller "mother!" starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, came in at No. 3 on the charts, earning just $7.5 million, below analysts' projections of at least $10 million. Directed by Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan" and "The Wrestler"), the film about a couple whose lives are thrown into chaos when unexpected visitors come into their secluded home earned an unprecedented F-rating on CinemaScore and a 68% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Reese Witherspoon-led "Home Again," distributed by Open Road Films, came in fourth, adding $5.3 million in its second weekend for a cumulative $17.1 million. The romantic comedy, which stars Witherspoon as a single mom in Los Angeles who lets three young guys move in with her, earned a B-rating on CinemaScore and a 31% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film also stars Candice Bergen and Michael Sheen and is directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer.
"The Hitman's Bodyguard" from Lionsgate fell two spots since last week to No. 5 after previously enjoying three weeks in the top spot. "Hitman," starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds, added $3.5 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative total of $70.3 million. The film has a B+ rating on CinemaScore and a 37% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In limited release, Annapurna Pictures' social media-themed "Brad's Status" opened in four theaters, earning an 83% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and $100,179 domestically for a solid per screen average of $25,045. Starring Ben Stiller as a neurotic dad whose old friend makes him feel inferior about his life choices, the R-rated comedy debuted at No. 28 on the chart and will expand into 100 markets next weekend. The film also stars Michael Sheen and Luke Wilson and was directed by Mike White ("School of Rock" and "Nacho Libre").
Next week, Entertainment Studios debuts the horror film "Friend Request," Fox premieres the action comedy sequel "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" and Warner Bros. opens the animated family film "The LEGO Ninjago Movie." Fox Searchlight also reveals the Emma Stone, Steve Carrell-led "Battle of the Sexes" in limited release.