Following reports that the 2017 box office is set to be cinema's lowest-performing since 2007, an unlikely saviour has appeared in the form of Pennywise, the murderous clown from upcoming horror film It.
The Stephen King adaptation may be a matter of weeks away, but - according to Variety - initial box office tracking suggests that the film is on course to earn over $50 million (£38m) - a staggering number typically earned by family-friendly franchise films released in the middle of blockbuster season.
The news is even more surprising considering its status as a R-rated horror directed by a relative unknown - Andrés Muschietti (Mama) - which reportedly “doesn't hold back in any aspect.”
Excitement surrounding It - which stars Bill Skarsgård in the title role - has been in full force since the first trailer which attracted over 197 million views in its first day of release.
Of course, $50m is just an initial prediction with the expectation that, once the critics have given their verdicts, will only grow. However, sources close to the studio warn that the biggest September opening of all time at the US box office was animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2 in 2015 ($48m - £37.2m in the UK) so are concerned with these predictions.
The summer box office has been plagued with select flops including Baywatch, Transformers: The Last Knight and Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword which a David Beckham cameo couldn't even save.
The first of two planned film, It - which co-stars Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard - follows a group of children haunted by a killer clown named Pennywise while searching for their missing friend. The release date is set for 8 September.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies