House With Clock in Its Walls Box Office

“The House…” Conjures Up $26 Million at Box Office


September 21-23, 2018

(estimates from


The House with
a Clock in Its Walls 
$28.5 million
A Simple Favor $10.4 million
The Nun $10.2 million
The Predator $8.7 million
Crazy Rich Asians $6.5 million

Jack Black and Cate Blanchett cast a spell on audiences as The House with a Clock in Its Walls took huge command of the box office. With an estimated $28.5 million, that was nearly more than the next three films combined. The adaptation of the children's book, directed by the decidedly not family-friendly Eli Roth, is the best debut that filmmaker's ever had. It also proves that Black is a hit with young audiences, even 12 years removed from Nacho Libre and 15 years removed from School of Rock.

A Simple Favor did survive on word of mouth. Falling only 35 percent, the comedy-mystery earned another $10.4 million. The Nun ended up just below that. It became the 20th movie to cross $100 million at the box office this year. By next week, it will be the second-biggest movie in that franchise, which has made nearly $1.5 billion worldwide.

The Predator took a massive hit. After bad reviews and bewilderment from general audiences, the film dropped nearly 65 percent. This means it won't make back its $88 million budget, and will definitely put any sequel plans on ice. Maybe it can be reclaimed with a director's cut on Blu-ray? But what doesn't need any reclaiming is Crazy Rich Asians. By next weekend, it will be among the 10 biggest movies of the year, and will overtake The Proposal to become the biggest romantic comedy in 13 years.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Colette, a biopic on French writer Gabrielle Colette. The period piece starring Keira Knightley averaged $39,197 on each of its four screens.
  • Michael Moore couldn't recapture his 2004 mojo. Fahrenheit 11/9, a documentary on the disastrous turn our country has taken since 2016, managed just $3.1 million. While that's an incredible debut for any non-fiction film, that's nowhere near Fahrenheit 9/11, his blockbuster 2004 doc that debuted at No. 1 and became the biggest documentary of all time.
  • It was the wrong weekend for two smaller studios to make their big splashes. Amazon dropped Life Itself on 2,600 screens, while Neon pushed Assassination Nation onto 1,400 screens. Both films debuted outside the top 10, with the former making just $2.1 million and the latter just over $1 million.

Next week:

While kids could demand enough of their parents to see the animated Smallfoot, there's no reason why two of the biggest names in comedy – Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart – can't get at least $25 million worth of tickets for Night School.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.