In February 2014, Matthew Vaughn's "Kingsman: The Secret Service" became a surprise success. The film was a hybrid of espionage thriller in the vein of James Bond and crude comedy. In a way, it felt like an energized James Bond franchise for a new generation in a decade where Bond is a series constantly fluctuating in quality.

On Friday, September 22, the follow-up "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" hits theaters. The film sees actors Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong reprising their roles as figures in an underground society of British spies.

Vaughn also returns as writer and director.

'Kingsman' takes on 'It' at box office

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" grossed $128 million at the domestic box office ($414 million worldwide). In its opening weekend, it took the number two slot with a healthy $36 million, falling just below "Fifty Shades of Grey," a film that banked off of its timely Valentine's Day weekend release date.

"The Golden Circle" looks to capitalize on both the success of its predecessor and the success of its incessant marketing campaign. Anyone visiting the theaters in Summer 2017 inevitably saw the trailer for this film.

This advertising effort will likely pay off, too. Perhaps not as much as 20th Century Fox hopes, however.

September has electrified a domestic box office that was left dead on the operating table during a tepid August. This is all thanks to one film: "It."

Andy Muschietti's adaptation of the Stephen King novel has been breaking records at the box office, quickly making its way toward becoming the highest grossing horror movie of all time.

The film currently has a domestic cume of $218 million. Competition like "American Assassin" and "mother!" have not been able to do much damage, either, as "It" has remained at the number one spot for two straight weeks.

Even if it doesn't mean much, those films don't have the mainstream power of "Kingsman." "The Golden Circle" will face off against "It" for the number one spot.

Following the trajectory of "It" (the film dropped 51.3% in its second weekend), the film will likely gross somewhere in the $25-$30 million range next weekend.

The cross-Atlantic equation to 'Kingsman' success

It will probably be a tight battle for number one.

As it stands, this "Kingsman" sequel has higher anticipation than the first film, which burst out of obscurity more than anything else. It also appears as if the narrative is engaging in some international casting that is pining for American audiences' acceptance.

In "The Golden Circle," the British spies from the first film travel to America to meet the Statesman, their American cousins. What results from this is the casting of Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, and, perhaps most importantly, Channing Tatum.

This storytelling shift from England to the United States is, most likely, no coincidence. The use of talent from across the pond seems like a perfect, synergistic way for the film to strike box office gold. Tatum, in particular, is a star figure that is a current draw for mainstream audiences.

20th Century Fox, the studio bringing us "The Golden Circle," did not anticipate the success of "It," however. Fox stuffed "The Secret Service" in the dregs of early February, where it found success from a limited long-term competition. The early part of the calendar year is notorious for being the dumping ground for studio projects that are not particularly high in quality.

September is generally the second slowest part of the calendar year at the box office.

Last year's highest grossing movie of September was "Sully" ($125 million), and it took the number one spot by a large margin.

With "It" in circulation, this September dynamic has changed. "Kingsman" will likely still earn a healthy chunk of its first-weekend box office, but if it gets slammed by "It" in successive weeks then the future of the franchise may be in jeopardy.

"Kingsman: The Golden Circle" opens nationwide on September 22.