Pennywise floats to number 1 again at the US box office


Los Angeles — After dipping to No. 2 last weekend, It has regained control of the North American box office in its fourth weekend in theatres.

The movie beat out the new Tom Cruise film American Made and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. But it was a close race that could shift when studios report actual weekend totals on Monday.

According to studio estimates on Sunday, the Stephen King adaptation and box office juggernaut added $17.3m to take the top spot. The film now boasts $291.2m in domestic grosses.

It edged out last weekend's box office champ, Kingsman: The Golden Circle and newcomer American Made, which essentially tied for second with $17m apiece. Estimates have American Made taking a slight advantage, with around $16 000 more than the "Kingsman" sequel.

Directed by Doug Liman, American Made is earning Cruise strong praise for his portrayal of the real life TWA pilot turned drug smuggler and CIA operative, but it's also a somewhat lukewarm North American debut for the star. Liman also directed Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow, which opened to $28.8m in June 2014.

"Tom Cruise has set the bar so high for himself that anything less than No. 1 feels like a comedown. That's the conundrum he's in," said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for comScore. "Cruise will always be measured against his unprecedented bar-raising string of hits from 1992 to 2006 that generated twelve $100m-plus earners at the North American box office."

The film, which cost a reported $50m to make, got a few weeks head start internationally, however, and has already raked in $81.7m worldwide to date.

Nick Carpou, who heads up distribution for Universal Pictures, which is handling worldwide distribution for American Made, said this debut is "the beginning of what will be a long playout and a successful one."

Kingsman: The Golden Circle fell about $56 percet in its second weekend in theaters, bringing its domestic total to $66.7m.

The Lego Ninjago Movie took fourth place with $12m, while the Flatliners remake opened to a cold $6.7m for a fifth place start.

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