Justice League

Warner Bros. Pictures has crossed the $5 billion mark at the global box office this year—only the second time in its illustrious history that the Studio has crossed that tremendous milestone. It is also the eighth time in the last nine years that Warner Bros. has earned more than $4 billion in a single year, marking an industry record. The announcement was made today by Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Additionally, setting a new Studio record in 2017, Warner Bros. had five of its feature film releases each take in more than $500 million worldwide (in order): Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ action adventure “Kong: Skull Island” (with Legendary Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures), starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson and John C. Reilly; Patty Jenkins’ action adventure “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine; Christopher Nolan’s sweeping epic “Dunkirk,” with an ensemble cast including Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy; New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT”; and, most recently, Zack Snyder’s “Justice League,” teaming Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Raymond Fisher, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller, which stands at more than $574 million and still climbing. The year’s highlights also include three more releases crossing $250 million worldwide: the animated feature “The LEGO® Batman Movie” (with LEGO System A/S); New Line’s horror thriller “Annabelle: Creation”; and Alcon Entertainment’s dramatic thriller “Blade Runner 2049” (with Sony Pictures).

In making the announcement, Kroll stated, “We are thrilled to reach this extraordinary benchmark as we come to the end of an amazing, record-setting year. Surpassing five billion dollars in a single year can only happen with an incredible level of hard work across all theatrical divisions, as well as the invaluable contributions of the many talented filmmakers and actors with whom we are so fortunate to collaborate. Congratulations to everyone who shares in this success.”



The septet of middle schoolers who call themselves the Losers’ Club are the heart and soul of New Line Cinema’s critically acclaimed horror-thriller IT (in Philippine cinemas Sept. 7).

(Watch the IT featurette Face Your Fears at https://youtu.be/mYfF8LYll_I.)

Directed by Andy Muschietti (Mama), IT is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades.

Individually, the adolescents that comprise the Losers’ Club are ill-equipped to handle school bullies, much less a powerful, shapeshifting entity the can only call `It.’ But together they possess a special courage that is forged by their friendship and determination to save one another, and their town, by standing up to a horrific threat that has gone unchallenged for centuries.

Muschietti affirms, “The Losers find strength in being together, and it’s interesting to watch how the dynamic of the group changes throughout the film—alternating leadership roles and positions of strength. They all have their moment. It’s a beautiful story, and especially in times of adversity, you see humanity, trust and love rise to the surface.”

Author Stephen King reveals he had a very specific reason for introducing the heroes in his novel as children. “There is a borderline, a zone, between kids who are too old to believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, but they are still afraid there could be something under the bed when the lights are out. I wanted to take these kids and put them in this situation where they are the only ones who have the capacity to see and actually battle this creature because they still believe in monsters. And yet, at the same time, they are older than little kids who are totally powerless, so they are able to take some action.”

To find the actors whowould win the roles of the Losers, the filmmakers embarked on an exhaustive search, auditioning hundreds of hopefuls. Muschietti says, “The casting of this film was a huge process and we saw a lot of people. But it is so great when you find an actor who shares the DNA of a character. It’s exciting for a director, because putting together the best cast isessential to bringing the characters to life.”

The casting of these richly conceived characters not only involved assembling the actors, but also ensuring they had the requisite chemistry to come together believably as a single unit. “Our casting director, Rich Delia, did an amazing job,” producer Barbara Muschietti states. “He brought us so many great kids that the hardest part was narrowing them down. It was a lot of fun putting them into groups to hit on the perfect combination, and when we saw the immediate connection between the actors who were cast, it was clear we got it right.”

Screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith relates that the ensemble approached their roles with dedication and skill far beyond their years. “They all showed up focused, prepared and ready to work. They hit their marks, remembered their lines and gave it everything they had. It was incredible to watch.”

Representing the Losers’ Club, actor Jaeden Lieberher says, “It’s definitely about overcoming fear because if the kids aren’t afraid of Pennywise, they have a chance of beating him. But it’s really scary watching all the bad things that are happening to them.”

Lieberher plays the de facto leader of the group, Bill Denbrough. The ensemble of young actors rounding out the club are: Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier; Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh; Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak; Wyatt Oleff as Stanley Uris; Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben Hanscom; and Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon.

A presentation of New Line Cinema, IT is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company.



The filmmakers of New Line Cinema’s horror-thriller IT knew the actor cast as the predator Pennywise would have a significant impact on virtually every aspect of the film.

The enigmatically short title refers to the story’s central villain, an ancient shapeshifter that takes the form of its victims’ deepest fears and comes out of hibernation every 27 years to feed on the most vulnerable residents of Derry, Maine: the children. This time, however, seven young outcasts, who dub themselves “the Losers’ Club,” will band together to do battle with the mysterious being they call by the all-encompassing pronoun: It. But It goes by another name…a name that has become iconic in the annals of horror: Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

After an extensive process, Bill Skarsgård landed the coveted role. Director Andy Muschietti says, “I was first captivated by Bill’s performance in his audition and from then on, it was like discovering a new treat every day. He not only brought mystery and an intriguing quality to the character but had the guts to explore Pennywise’s insane theatricality. He had a madness in his look, and his body language was completely unnerving. Some of the physical demands of this role were exhausting, but I have to give it to Bill—his energy was at full all the time.”

In turn, Skarsgård says he counted on Muschietti’s guidance and appreciated the confidence his director placed in him. “Andy trusted me and I trusted him. I knew I was in good hands so I could really go for it, and he responded to what I was doing. We had a great collaboration between the two of us.”

Screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith remarks, “You can’t overstate what Bill added to this character in terms of his physicality, his attitude and his expressions.”

In fact, one expression the actor was able to bring to the role took the director by surprise. Muschiettir ecounts, “Pennywise’s wall-eyed appearance was something I had in mind from early on—I wanted him to have this crazy look where one of the eyes is going in a different direction, the opposite of cross-eyed. I mentioned this to Bill as a trait of the character, thinking it was something we would do in post-production. But he said, ‘Well, I can do that,’ and he just did it right there. And it freaked me out! You will see it in the movie; it’s pretty terrifying. One thing Bill couldn’t do was turn his blue eyes yellow—that we did have to do in post—but the wall-eyed stunt is all him.”

Apart from his physical characteristics, Skarsgård focused on creating Pennywise’s distinctive voice and maniacal laugh. For the voice, he landed on what he calls “a kind of crackling, high-pitched tone.”

Muschietti gave a great deal of thought to how he was going to reveal Pennywise onscreen. “It’s an iconic moment in the book that many people will be waiting to see,” the director acknowledges. “The scene is mesmerizing; the first appearance of Pennywise is intriguing and charismatic, but at the same time, you know there’s something wrong about him. But he’s also shrouded in a kind of magic that is quite unsettling.”

That unsettling feeling is something to which Barbara Muschietti could relate. “Clearly, the first time we see Pennywise is an incredibly important scene and, speaking for myself, it’s something that stays with you. From the first time I read the book, it was very difficult for me to look at a storm drain and not think of Pennywise lurking,” she smiles. “We wanted to create an image you will never forget.”

Opening in Philippine cinemas September 7, IT is released worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company.