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In the months leading up to the release of It, movie fans were rightfully skeptical of the long-gestating Stephen King adaptation. After all, this was the production that original director Cary Fukunaga departed after four years of development. This was the movie he left behind after citing creative interference from the studio. That was a bad sign. A sign that we were getting something cheap and watered down.

So the revelation that It is very good and very scary and very true to the voices of both King and new director Andy Muschietti was a welcome surprise (especially in the wake of the disastrous The Dark Tower). But with It shattering box office records, we can’t help but wonder what Fukunaga’s version would have been like and how it would have differed from the movie playing in theaters right now. A video series, produced over the past few months and recently completed, offers an interesting dissection of the film’s earliest drafts, which promise a movie that is simultaneously very similar and completely different than what we got.

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is it a horror movie

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: It is a horror movie, even if the internet insists otherwise.) 

You’d think that when a horror movie – in this case Andy Muschietti’s It – shatters box office records (to the tune of a $123 million), it’d be a joyous occasion. To be clear, it is. Yet, as horror fans know, this kind of event does not bring praise and congratulations from onlookers, but instead one of cinema’s nastiest trends – the “X isn’t a horror movie” stans who refuse to let horror fans have even the slightest moment in the sun.

Nah, I’m not going to let this slide this time. Let’s have a chat, internet.

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Losers Club

Even before director Andy Muschietti‘s It hit theaters and made the kind of money usually reserved for superhero movies, there was talk of a sequel. And how could there not be? The film adapts only half of Stephen King‘s massive 1,200 page novel, eschewing the storyline that follows the grown-up “Losers’ Club” as they reassemble 27 years later to finish Pennywise (or rather, It) off once and for all.

So that means the sequel has a tough act to follow when it comes to casting. The kid actors in It are wonderful and their chemistry feels real and they power the beautiful coming-of-age story that wins your heart between the scares. Casting their adult counterparts and doing justice to these original performances is going to be tricky.

And that’s why we’re here to help.

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It Chapter 2 changes

Even though the It sequel still hasn’t been given the official greenlight, Andy Muschietti‘s adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel absolutely crushed the box office during its opening weekend, so it’s only a matter of time until the studio stakes out some ground on the calendar for It: Chapter Two. A writer is already working on the screenplay for the sequel, and now we have some details about a significant change the follow-up will make to one of the members of the Losers’ Club, the group of kids who serve as the protagonists in the first film and will reunite as adults in the second.

The version of Mike Hanlon we’ll see in It: Chapter Two will be very different from the one we just met in this new film, and he’ll even be considerably altered from the character that appeared in King’s original novel.
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The LEGO Ninjago Movie Featurette

Though there doesn’t seem to be as much pomp and circumstance surrounding The LEGO Ninjago Movie as there was The LEGO Movie and the spin-off The LEGO Batman Movie, the more I see of the latest expansion of the LEGO cinematic universe, the more excited I get to see it.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie takes a cue from the LEGO building brick set of the same name, which has already spawned an animated series. But this feature adaptation has no narrative ties to the animated series, which means audiences of all ages can go into the movie without having to know anything except that this is another clever LEGO movie with a fantastic voice cast behind it. The LEGO Ninjago Movie featurette that was just released online goes behind the scenes with the cast, reveals new footage and shows a surprising amount of improvisation for an animated movie. Read More »

Stephen King's It Reviews

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Andy Muschietti’s It.)

How do you make a good Stephen King adaptation? That’s apparently a hard question to answer, since there are far more bad King film adaptations than good. More often than not, it seems filmmakers only latch onto the Stephen King brand – they figure if they make something that attempts to be scary and slap King’s name on it, the audience will come. That’s likely true, but the audience won’t come back again.

Last weekend, Andy Muschietti’s big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s It defied expectations – expectations that were already trending positively – and took in the largest opening weekend at the box office in horror movie history. This success isn’t just the result of the King name brand – if it were, we’d still be talking about the Dark Tower film adaptation instead of consigning it to the dust. The success of It is the result of supremely positive word-of-mouth. The trailers were edited well enough to drum up buzz, and then early reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The hype just kept on building.

And that’s because the movie is good. And more than that, it’s a good Stephen King adaptation.

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Stephen King's It Box Office

Update: The early estimates were incorrect. It did not make $117.2 million in its opening weekend. It made $123.1 million.

The hype and box office predictions for the new adaptation of Stephen King‘s beloved horror novel It were high well before the movie hit theaters, and the sneak preview screening numbers indicated that It was going to have a huge weekend. Now the numbers are rolling in, and It has exceeded even the highest expectations that anyone had for the movie.

Not only does It have an impressive 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a solid score for a horror movie, but the movie is on track to land the largest opening weekend at the box office for any horror movie. Not only that, but it’s the largest three-day opening weekend for an R-rated movie, the third largest box office opening of the year, the biggest opening for any September release, and the largest opening weekend for New Line Cinema. All that from the highest number of screens for an R-rated movie.

Find out more about the It box office below. Read More »

It Box Office Records

Warner Bros. and New Line weren’t clowning around with It. Andy Muschietti’s movie adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel has already broken box office records, making $13.5 million in Thursday night screenings alone. That’s the biggest advance night opening for any R-rated movie, the biggest opening gross for any King adaptation, the biggest preview gross for any outright horror movie, and the best preview gross for any September movie.
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Pennywise Empire

It is set to terrify audiences everywhere this weekend as the latest Stephen King adaptation hits theaters today. It’s a surprisingly excellent studio horror film, filled with thrills and chills and constructed with care. It is the story of a group of kids who dub themselves The Losers’ Club – a group of social misfits and outcasts drawn together by friendship and a mission: to stop the evil force plaguing their small New England town of Derry, Maine. That evil has manifested itself in the form of a shapeshifting clown, Pennywise, a creature that feeds on children and flourishes through the indifference of adults. Director Andy Muschietti and his team really put a lot of thought and care into the film, bringing King’s 1,138-page novel to vibrant life in the process.

That’s not to say It is an entirely faithful adaptation of King’s book. Screenwriters Chase Palmer & Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman have taken King’s prose and altered it significantly to create this film, and we’re going to examine some of the biggest differences. But first it’s worth noting that while It may not be 100% faithful to King’s novel, it does stay faithful to the spirit of the book – the heart and soul, if you will. It’s as great an adaptation of a King work as one can hope to get. But now let’s examine some of the key differences.

Spoilers follow, of course.

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Stephen King's IT Featurette

Today, the new adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel It arrives in theaters. The box office numbers are supposed to be through the roof this weekend, with some estimates going as high as $75 million. But Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema don’t want to count their chickens before they’re hatched, so they’ve released one last featurette to coincide with the release of the movie today to really get us invested in The Losers’ Club and the horror they endure in Stephen King’s gruesome tale.

Watch Stephen King’s It featurette, but beware that is shows a large amount of new footage. Read More »