The 1973 horror film — featuring a little girl possessed by a vengeful demon — held the title for 44 years until It and its denizen Pennywise the Clown took over theatres in early September. The Exorcist‘s reign was one of the longest in cinematic history.
On Thursday, It studio Warner Bros. announced that the movie had crossed the $500-million mark at the international box office, easily surpassing The Exorcist‘s $441 million total.
“Crossing $500 million is rarified air for any film, but for a horror film it is history-making, and we could not be prouder,” said Sue Kroll, president of worldwide marketing and distribution at Warner Bros. “The filmmakers and cast did more than make a box-office hit, they created a communal, must-see moviegoing event that has reverberated around the globe and is still going strong.”
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Indeed, horror movies are often at the back of the pack when it comes to generating big profit, but as of late, scary flicks like It and February’s smash hit Get Out are bucking that trend.
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(One tiny caveat: adjusting for inflation, The Exorcist remains comfortably on top as the top-grossing horror film. Its adjusted worldwide gross was calculated at $1.79 billion in 2014.)
The Exorcist will also always hold the title of first-ever horror movie to get a Best Picture Academy Award nomination. Of its 10 nominations, it won two Oscars, albeit for the less “popular” awards of Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The sequel for It has been fast-tracked at Warner Bros. due to the first film’s success, and It: Chapter Two is due for release on Sept. 6, 2019. It will be helmed by the same director, Andy Muschietti.
It hasn’t been revealed who will be cast as the adult versions of the characters.