WASHINGTON – It was knocked into second place last week – but as Halloween approaches, freaky box-office sensation It was back at number one in its fourth week in cinemas, industry estimates showed Sunday.

Starring Bill Skarsgard as a creepy clown who terrorizes a sleepy Maine town, It – the highest-grossing horror movie of all time – earned $17.3 million, according to Exhibitor Relations.

That is some $12.4 million less than last week’s $29.7 million takings – but still enough for the top spot, bringing total earnings to a colossal $291.1 million.

Close behind in the tight race for number one was Universal’s newly released American Made, which raked in $17 million.

Starring Tom Cruise, American Made tells the story of a commercial airline pilot recruited to carry out reconnaissance missions over South America for the CIA.

Espionage comedy – and last week’s number one – Kingsman: The Golden Circle came in at number three, also with takings of $17 million.

With a star-studded cast featuring Colin Firth, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and even Elton John, Kingsman sees a British spy organization join forces with its American counterpart to take on a new global threat.

But despite its A-list lineup, it took less than half of last week’s $39 million earnings.

Sitting comfortably in fourth place, having rung up $12 million, was animation The Lego Ninjago Movie – the third installment of Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie franchise.

Sony’s remake of horror film Flatliners did just that in its first week in theaters, earning an anti-climactic $6.7 million.

Originally released in 1990, Flatliners follows five medical students who try to find out if there is life after death by conducting experiments that cause near-death experiences.

Rounding out the top 10 were: Battle Of The Sexes ($3.4 million); American Assassin ($3.3 million); Home Again ($1.7 million); Til Death Do Us Part ($1.5 million); and, mother! ($1.4 million). – AFP