That's the second best showing for a horror pic behind the first 'It.'

New Line's It: Chapter 2 scared up a strong $10.5 million in Thursday night shows as it began its North American box office assault.

That's the second-best preview gross ever for a horror film behind the first It, which grossed $13.5 million in previews on its way to a record-shattering debut of $123.4 million on the same weekend in 2017, not adjusted for inflation.

Prerelease tracking suggests the sequel will earn $90 million-plus for the weekend, although other box office analysts are more bullish, targeting $100 million or more. It will be playing in a total of 4,570 theaters by Friday, the widest location count ever for the month of September.

New Line and parent studio Warner Bros. could use a hit after a tough summer at the box office, capped by box office misses The Kitchen and Blinded by the Light.

Andy Muschietti returns to direct the conclusion of his adaptation of Stephen King's classic novel. The follow-up — starring Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa and Bill Hader — features the adult incarnations of the kids who battled the creepy clown Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) 27 years earlier.

It: Chapter 2 currently has a 67 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 86 percent for the first film. It remains to be seen how much this impacts the sequel, along with the fact that it runs two hours and 49 minutes, 35 minutes longer than the 2017 pic.