How IT Became The Highest Grossing R-Rated Horror Ever

How Warner Bros caught lightning in a bottle...

It 2017 Pennywise
Warner Bros.

Over the weekend, the latest addition to the pantheon of Stephen King horror movies became the highest grossing R-Rated horror movie of all time (not counting inflation, as The Exorcist would have made close to $2 billion in 2017 money).

That's a stunning achievement for a film that cost only $35m, and which - as a horror - already had a narrower market window than most movies that head towards the top of such financial charts.

It's a great film - a truly remarkable achievement that not only faithfully adapts King's novel but also adds something new, and which crucially balances the creepy horror elements with the heart and humanity you'd expect from a Stephen King story. It's as much a coming-of-age tale as it is a bone-chilling creeper and it managed to capture the imaginations of millions of fans in a very precise way.

But how did it all pan out so well?

5. Channelling Nostalgia (And Stranger Things)

It Movie 2017 Losers Club
Warner Bros

Since Stranger Things made such a splash on Netflix, cinema audiences have been looking for something else to satisfy their very specific needs off the back of it until the second season arrives. And given the fact that the show was so self-consciously steeped in Stephen King nostalgia - and that intangible Kingness that also seems to feel so much like an Amblin film - it makes sense that a King adaptation would prove to be the best fit.

In a conscious effort to make the film appeal to those audiences, Warner Bros brought in the excellent Finn Wolfhard and focused the story less on the mind-bending weirdness of the original book and more on the dynamic between the kids and their individual struggles to grow. It's more a coming-of-age drama than a monster movie, and that has proved to be an inspired move.

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