The film adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel It has been widely anticipated, but nobody expected it to perform as well as it did on its opening weekend. Earning £88.9 million in the USA and £47 million globally, not only did the film smash the existing record for a horror film’s opening weekend takings, but it achieved double that of the previous holder, Paranormal Activity 3.

Move over Star Wars, a new cult has arrived

Looking at what’s fuelling the popularity of the film at the box office, It taps into a number of winning factors. Based on a book, viewers are likely to be already familiar with the story and with the 1990 US TV adaptation. Meanwhile, moviegoers are more than happy to have an extra element of horror added to an already terrifying picture. Some London venues are even holding immersive showings which include live clowns wandering the movie theatre. There has also been a host activity on social media showing fans dressed as clowns in the audience.

All of this adds to the hype around the movie and is sure to increase its takings over the coming weeks. Considering the movie only cost £26.5 million to make, this is some achievement. Part Two is set to be released in 2019.

Event cinema is changing the film industry

The success of Secret Cinema and event cinema showings highlight that consumers are happy to see familiar films or concerts in a new dimension. It is likely that the majority of those who attend an immersive film event or an outdoor screening of a classic movie will have already seen the film. For instance, Secret Cinema’s showing of Dirty Dancing put the movie back in the UK’s Box Office top ten.

Consumers are increasingly seeking activities with an interactive element. This likely underpins the attraction of these cinematic events, which bring the movies to life and add an immersive element. They also give consumers a break from smartphones and social media, allowing them to sit back and enjoy a movie, or take part in one – whichever they prefer.

Indeed, Mintel’s Switch Off Trend explores how consumers are seeking face to face, human connection in a world that is so ruled by digital interaction. As part of the Conscious Film series, Candlelight Cinema and triyoga hosted a mindful movie night at its Camden studio in April 2017. It involved a yoga session followed by a screening of Road to Peace (the award-winning film depicting the journey of the Dalai Lama). Meanwhile, the opening weekend of an event cinema production of André Rieu’s 2017 Maastricht Concert took £1.45 million at the UK and Ireland box office, making it the highest-grossing music concert over a single weekend.

Helen is the Senior Leisure Analyst at Mintel. Prior to joining Mintel she has worked at various Market Research agencies starting at him!, the shopper insight specialists, back in 2010. Her time agency side has exposed her to a vast range of household names covering FMCG and Retail, Transportation and Service providers, and most recently Health and Fitness. She has a Psychology degree and spent her final year studying and working alongside top Sports Psychologists.

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