You’ve probably heard about a little film called “It.”
Last weekend, the horror film, based on the novel by Stephen King, broke box office records, earning an estimated $123.1 million, propelling it to first in the nation, according to CNN.
The film became the largest opening movie ever in September, beating the previous record by $75 million. Warner Bros said it was the largest opening earnings for any horror movie ever, too.
“It” finished third-place for the entire year, trailing only “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” in opening weekend numbers, according to CNN.
The story follows a group of kids who are evading a demonic clown named Pennywise, who wrecks havoc upon a small Maine town and preys on the fear of children.
But for professional clowns, the film’s success is no joke. According to Business Insider, clowns have seen a drop in business since the film’s release.
For example, John Nelson, a professional clown, said he’s received cancellations because of the movie.
“Last week, my partner and I had six cancellations of birthday parties,” Nelson told NBC New York. “I have heard of reports from other clowns, in New York and other cities, that they have been canceled as well.”
Nelson’s actually put on a rally in New York City, outside the Regal Cinema in Union Square, to prove clowns aren’t scary.
According to The New York Times, clown hysteria has popped up in Australia. Local media reported that a group of clowns plan to descend upon local towns, dressed up in clown gear and giant shoes, to scare people for no other reason.
A group called the Clown Purge Australia shared a photo of a clown with a red balloon — a reference to “It” — and a caption that recognized the recent horror film, too.
Police have begun to prepare themselves for any clown sightings, too, according to the New York Times. Not because they plan to arrest any clowns, but they want to make sure everyone is safe.
“You can’t just be arrested for wearing a clown suit,” said a spokesman for the Western Australia Police. “It’s what you’re doing at the time.”
Last year, clown hysteria crashed like a wave across the United States. In South Carolina, residents of one community noticed clowns trying to lure children into the woods….