Can a Couple of Creepy Clowns Scare Up Big Numbers at the Box Office?

Despite the summer crop of $1 billion mega-hits such as Toy Story 4 and Aladdin, it’s been a middling year for the movie business, with the domestic box office down 6.4% so far compared to the same time last year.

But “a couple of creepy clowns” could “get the box office going,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst at Comscore.

He’s referring to the iconic characters at the center of what are expected to be two of Hollywood’s biggest fall films, It: Chapter Two, the follow-up to 2017’s megahit It, and Joker, a dark portrait of Batman’s infamous archnemesis as a demented clown-for-hire. The films, both rated R, are designed to terrify and are generating buzz.

Pennywise the Dancing Clown returns this weekend with his ominous red balloon to strike terror in the hearts of children everywhere in New Line’s It: Chapter Two, and box office hopes are high—with good reason.

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