Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

September 23, 2018

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It's yet another September mixed bag of new releases this weekend, which seemingly has become a month when we all just sit around and wait for it to end so the real releases can come out.

Four new releases opened this weekend, and two miss the top ten entirely; more on those in a bit, but there is a new #1 this weekend as the top spot returns to being the revolving door we're all used to.

The House with a Clock in its Walls easily takes the weekend with a solid $26.8 million, ahead of expectations which had it in the lower $20 million range. Based on a novel originally published in 1973, this one aimed squarely at younger audiences and families and managed to succeed. I think Jack Black gets the majority of the credit here, as he drew comparisons to his role in Goosebumps from 2015 (getting in just ahead of the sequel next month), which opened to $23.6 million. He also had his profile in family films raised by the mammoth performance of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle from last Christmas.

Directed by Eli Roth, of Cabin Fever and Hostel fame, a family film seemed like an unlikely choice (and that director's cut is going to be something else, isn't it?), The House with a Clock in its Walls cost an economical $42 million, so Universal should be very happy with this opening, even if it isn't likely to have much in the way of foreign earnings. There's definitely some direct competition for family dollars next weekend in the form of Smallfoot, but I think this one can stay in the conversation over the next couple of weekends.

Probably the biggest surprise of the weekend is second place going to A Simple Favor, which was third last weekend. The Blake Lively/Anna Kendrick thriller falls only 35% from last weekend to $10.4 million and has $32.5 million after two weekends. Word-of-mouth was better than expected here and with some epic second weekend collapses a theme this month, this is a solid hold.

The Nun places third with $10.2 million, crossing $100 million in just three weekends (the 20th film of 2018 to do so) despite its huge collapse from opening weekend. It's got $100.8 million to date after falling 44% this weekend. It's right behind both Annabelle: Creation and The Conjuring 2 for the second highest grossing film in the franchise's history (the former films are at $102 million).

Fourth place goes to last weekend's winner The Predator, dropping 65% from opening weekend to $8.7 million, it has $40.4 million in two weekends. The big decline isn't too much of a surprise here, especially given the reviews and word-of-mouth, and previous performance of Predator movies. It's going to be up to international earnings to determine if the reboot was worth it.

Crazy Rich Asians dips only 25% in its sixth weekend, adding $6.5 million to its $159.4 million total. Not too much more needs to be added here, and I really hope Warner Bros. doesn't waste too much time putting together the sequel.


White Boy Rick slips 44% to $5 million and has $17.4 million in two weekends. This is kind of the shrug emoji of performances, it had some momentary awards buzz coming out of the festival circuit but that fizzled fast, and Warner Bros. put it out here to try and see if audiences would pick up the banner. They haven't, but it could have gone worse performance wise.

Jennifer Garner's Peppermint earns $3.7 million in its third weekend, giving it $30.3 million to date. The female Death Wish is right behind the actual Death Wish remake from earlier this year, which topped out at $34 million. This isn't the franchise starter STX Entertainment was hoping it would be, but it's ahead of its $25 million budget.

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 lands in eighth with $3.1 million. While a solid number for a documentary, as the spiritual sequel to Moore's biggest hit, Fahrenheit 9/11, it's a failure. There are reasons for this, and it's not necessarily because people are tired of Moore's schtick or that people actually like Donald Trump. It's a different world than it was in 2004 when Fahrenheit 9/11 earned $119.1 million. With social media alert and the 24/7 news cycle, we know how much things suck right now. We didn't really need anything that reminds us about how terrible things are. A few years removed from all of this, I can see it, but as it's going on? it's not 2004 anymore.

Moore's last proper documentary, 2015's Where to Invade Next, earned only $3.8 million, so he will better that performance, but Fahrenheit 11/9 may not even match 2009's Capitalism: A Love Story, which earned $14.3 million.

The Meg spends its last weekend in the top ten as the oldest film on the chart, with $2.3 million in its seventh weekend and $140.5 million to date. The late summer hit has crossed $500 million worldwide, which makes it a huge hit for Warner Bros. even with the high price tag (anywhere between $130-178 million depending on who you believe).

Searching wraps up the top ten with $2.1 million and $23.1 million after five weekends, four of them in wide release.

As for this weekend's other new releases, Life Itself, kind of a movie version of This Is Us (from the creator of the TV show) lands in 11th with just $2.1 million, while Assassination Nation is destined to become a cult classic with just $1 million in 1,403 theaters in 15th place for the weekend.

The top 12 films this weekend tallied up $82.5 million, down from last year's $110.4 million when Kingsman: The Golden Circle won the weekend with $39 million.

Next weekend brings us an animated entry in Smallfoot, a comedy with Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish in Night School, and a horror release hoping to get the jump on Halloween (the holiday and the movie) in here Fest.

Top Ten for Weekend of September 21-23, 2018
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Gross ($)
1 The House with a Clock in its Walls Universal 26.8 New 26.8
2 A Simple Favor Lionsgate 10.4 -35% 32.5
3 The Nun Warner Bros. 10.2 -44% 100.8
4 The Predator 20th Century Fox 8.7 -65% 40.4
5 Crazy Rich Asians Warner Bros. 6.5 -25% 159.4
6 White Boy Rick Sony Pictures 5.0 -44% 17.4
7 Peppermint STX Entertainment 3.7 -38% 30.3
8 Fahrenheit 11/9 Briarcliffe Entertainment 3.1 New 3.1
9 The Meg Warner Bros. 2.3 -39% 140.5
10 Searching Sony Pictures 2.1 -32% 23.1
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations



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