KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- "It", the book and mini-series that made a whole generation scared of clowns is starting to scare millennials and forty-somethings alike.
The Stephen King adaptation opened in theaters Thursday night and is expected to break September and horror movie box office records.
“Every 27 years Pennywise comes around," Cortney Seaberg said wearing a clown nose before a screening at Alamo Drafthouse.
It’s been exactly that long since Stephen King fans were able to see the creepy clown killer from the book come to life, though never on the big screen.
“This was a made for TV movie so it gained popularity on the small screen, so this is the first time people are going to be able to be collectively be frightened by Pennywise the clown," event organizer Ryan Davis said.
Before they could make their way into the theater, moviegoers had to go through the giant clown mouth and pass by Pennywise himself. Many stopped for photos, attempting to overcome their phobia.
"Getting people scared before they go into the movie to be scared is everything that I hoped for when I came up with this idea," Davis said.
Pennywise holds a red balloon, but not because he’s a Chiefs fan, even if the premiere coincided with the season opener.
“Little upset that I’m missing the game, it will be worth it I get to spend time with my family and this is what they wanted to do so I’m going to go do that," Mike Rau said.
The film only centers on the first half of the book, before the children return to Derry as adults. But “It” fans won’t have to wait another 27 years for that part of the story.
“They’ve already announced the sequel so this is not the first time we’ll have clowns in the theater watching it," Davis said.