Prolific author Stephen King knew It — the first big screen adaptation of his 1986 novel — was going to be a hit as soon as he saw its rough cut in 2016.
"I knew when I saw it a year ago in Florida in a rough cut that it was going to be a hit, but I don’t think anybody knew it was going to be, you know, like $700 million dollars worldwide. I had no idea of that, but it sold a lot of books, man," King told EW of Andy Muschietti's critically-acclaimed adaptation. "You know what they say: A rising tide lifts all boats."
The Warner Bros. production grossed over $327 million domestically and more than $370 million overseas for a global haul of $698 million — making It the highest-grossing horror movie of all time, surpassing previous record-holder The Exorcist.
Asked why It has proved to be such a phenomenon, King pointed to the two-part miniseries that aired on ABC in 1990.
"A whole generation of kids between the ages of 8 and 14 were scared sh—less by Tim Curry and when the new one came out it was a chance to revisit that particular experience in their childhood," King explained.
"Then there was this weird viral bulge in stories about creepy clowns. That was in the press all over the place. So it was a number of different things. It was the right movie at the right time."
Another big screen production based on a Stephen King work, The Dark Tower, didn't fare as well at the box office: the Sony Pictures release grossed just $111 million worldwide on a $60 million budget.
"I had doubts about [The Dark Tower movie] from the beginning, and expressed them, and didn’t really get too far," King said, adding he felt the movie failed because it was an unchallenging PG-13 tentpole.
It is now available on Digital HD and releases to 4K UHD and Blu-ray January 9.