LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Thanks largely to a creepy clown, last month gave a much-needed financial boost to the movie industry as the North American box office topped the $700 million mark for the first time ever during a September, according to figures released today.
According to box-office tracker comScore, North American theaters generated $708.9 million in September, a 19.2 percent increase from September 2016 and 14.7 percent higher than 2015, which was the previous record-holder for a September at $617.8 million.
Leading the way at theaters last month was the clown-centric horror film ``It,'' which took in $286.6 million. That was good enough to make the film the top-earning September performer of all time, breaking the record of ``Crocodile Dundee,'' which earned $174.7 million when it was released in late September 1986.
Paul Dergarabedian of comScore said an array of ``diverse'' films, including ``It,'' ``Kingsman: The Golden Circle,'' ``American Assassin,'' ``The Lego Ninjago Movie'' and ``Home Again,'' contributed to the record-setting September and ``brought moviegoers to the multiplex in unprecedented numbers and set a new standard for earnings potential for the month.''
Dergarabedian noted that last month was the first time a September box office total topped a traditional summer blockbuster month, considered May through August. Last month's total topped the August total of $668.5 million.
In September 2016, the box office total was $594.5 million, led by ``Sully,'' which earned $99.5 million during the month.