Box Office Wrap Up: Alarm Clock?
The House with a Clock in its Walls overperformed as the box office as a whole stumbled.
This week get a complete reversal of last week’s problems: the top film did better than anticipated while the field as a whole struggled. Last week The Predator massively underperformed but the box office totals were solid compared to past September totals. The other three wide release films landed low on the list, although you could argue that Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 actually had a good weekend, especially for a documentary. On the whole, 2018 has been a strong year for documentaries cracking the top ten.
This Week In Box Office History.
It seems that the top three films are a bit of a lagging indicator. Strong carryover from films like Crazy Rich Asians (now in the top ten earning romantic comedies list), The Meg and Mission Impossible have created a firewall. That may explain why the lousy debuts last week didn’t trash the box office totals: there were still plenty of films making better than average money to offset them. Now that those films are falling out of the top ten, we’re seeing the effects of the stinkers unmasked. I’d imagine next week we’ll see a bounce as The House with a Clock in its Walls and Fahrenheit 11/9 both had solid audience scores.
Overall the box office dipped 15% from last week and 25% from last year. The overall total of 82 million dollars is in the bottom half of recent September takes. The worrying number is 3; this weekend currently sits as the third worst box office total in 2018. Hopefully it remains a blip as I’ve predicted, because 2018 is still on pace to be a record shattering year for earnings.
Top Film Last Year: Kingsman – The Golden Circle.
Top Film Last Decade: Lakeview Terrace.
Top Three Films.
The House with a Clock in its Walls knocked off The Predator for first place. It took in 26 million against a 42 million dollar budget. That tally stacks up respectably to other recent YA Lit adaptations, just barely missing the mark set by Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children...which unwisely spent 110 million dollars to make 28 million in its first week. It also matches up nicely against Goosebumps, another spooky family friendly film starring Jack Black, which earned 23 million at launch.
Second place saw A Simple Favor climb a notch from last week. The film aged gracefully with just a 36% week-on-week decline. It settled in at 10 million, making for a cumulative take of 32 million.
The Nun swapped places with A Simple Favor, dropping to third. It’s take of 9.9 million puts it just over 100 million dollars domestically, on pace to rival the overall US gross of the first Conjuring film.
You have to go all the way down to eighth place to find another wide release premier. Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 slotted in at number 8, becoming the 15th biggest debut for a documentary at 3 million dollars. Per screen averages were a bit iffy, pointing to the number of theaters gambling on a high profile documentary to be behind the success instead of tremendous buzz. It joins RBG and Won’t You Be My Neighbor as the third documentary to chart in the top ten this year.
The other two new releases in wide release tumbled out of the top ten. Life Itself languished at the eleven spot, turning in notably bad numbers. For a film showing in 2500 theaters, it is the second worst premier, just barely beating out Victor Frankenstein but 100k shy of the current champ Friend Request. For a movie about how senseless tragedies lead up to the life we know, I guess that’s good news?
Assassination Nation caught a bullet in 15th place. It wasn’t as bad as Life Itself, only showing in 1400 screens, but it did wind up in the top 100 worst opening in that bracket.
Top Ten Movies.
1. The House with a Clock in its Wall (26.6)
2. A Simple Favor (10.2)
3. The Nun (9.9)
4. The Predator (9.1)
5. Crazy Rich Asians.
6. White Boy Rick (4.8)
7. Peppermint (3.6)
8. Fahrenheit 11/9 (3.0)
9. The Meg (2.2)
10. Searching (2.1)