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No clowning around as scary 'IT' brings first weekend gross of $123 million

Bill Skarsgård in his role as Pennywise from the movie "It" (Warner Bros.)

Wow! The box office certainly wasn't clowning around this past weekend. The scary reboot of Stephen King's 'IT' (2017) brought in a first weekend gross of $123 million.

WHY AN INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE IS IMPORTANT TO AMERICAN FILMS

Regular visitors to Bob Fisher at the Movies here at News3LV.com often find a reference in my reviews to the importance of both the "Domestic Box Office" figures and the "International Box Office" figures. The word coming out of China this week strengthens the public awareness of why an international audience is important to the financial success of our American films.

It took two months, but SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING finally opened in China. And, are you ready for this: it raked in a staggering $70.7 million. The film is now expected to surpass the series' previous release, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (2014) which grossed more than $90 million in China.

Think of the population in China compared to our USA population. SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING has now grossed a Domestic Box Office total of $327.7 million over 10 weeks!

65 NEW FILMS SET TO OPEN IN SEPTEMBER

According to the New York Times, some 65 new films are set to open across America in September. Of course, Las Vegas will never see many of these films -- mostly documentaries. Some of the studios stupidly do not schedule Vegas press screenings for their major releases. Case in point: MOTHER, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeifer. It is not the first movie we will go and see on our own. And it won't be the last.

After researching the September films opening in the next few weeks, here is my prediction for the nine films to consider putting on your list to see:

AMERICAN ASSASSIN

Adapted from the best-seller novel, the CIA officer -- played by Michael Keaton -- and the CIA rookie -- played by Dylan O'Brien -- unravel an international plot.

BATTLE OF THE SEXES

Early word of mouth is this new film has great Oscar potential. Emma Stone plays Billie Jean King and Steve Carell plays Bobby Riggs.

BOSTON

This is one documentary that may reach Las Vegas because of the subject matter, the history of the Boston Marathon. And the narrator, Matt Damon.

KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

There are lots of television commercials for this comic book sequel. The high-profile cast includes Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Colin Firth, and Halle Berry.

THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE

Spinoff number three! Actually going to screen the film this weekend.

STRONGER

This is the dramatization of Jeff Bauman, who lost both of his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing. Could there be an Oscar nomination for Jake Gyllenhaal?

VICTORIA & ABDUL

Judi Dench plays Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal plays the clerk who travels to England to furnish her with a ceremonial coin. There is early buzz for this film and director Stephen Frears.

AMERICAN MADE

Tom Cruise. Need I say anything else? Lots of television promotion.

OUR SOULS AT NIGHT

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda star as widowed neighbors. This is adapted from the Kent Haruf novel and directed by Ritesh Bartra.


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