Weekend Forecast: ‘The House With A Clock In Its Walls’ Aims to Keep Late September Box Office Ticking

After a month-plus of minimal cinema options for parents and kids, The House With A Clock In Its Walls is poised to offer a much needed family film in the early autumn box office market. The source novel’s existing fan base naturally gives it another leg up, while the casting of Jack Black and Cate Blanchett should further enhance appeal to adults with young children — especially in the wake of the lead actor’s recent family-driven hits, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Goosebumps.

Social media tracking for House isn’t quite in the league of films like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children or the aforementioned Goosebumps, but trends are generally encouraging nonetheless. Another fair comparison point may be Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Factoring in traditional industry tracking metrics, a debut in the $20-25 million range looks very attainable. More bullish models suggest it could go slightly higher than that, while distributor Universal projects a slightly more conservative $18 million weekend.

Outside the major studios, three other releases enter the fray this weekend in hopes of attracting a variety of moviegoers. Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 is hoping to benefit from the upcoming election midterms as his sequel to 2004’s hit Fahrenheit 9/11 will mainly appeal to his most loyal followers, while Amazon Studios makes a strategic leap forward with their first wide release, Life Itself  although tracking models are decidedly modest at this point. Each of those films are looking to open in the low-to-mid single digit millions this weekend, with Moore’s documentary having slightly higher upside despite a lower theater count (1,719 versus 2,500).

Meanwhile, Neon’s Assassination Nation will open on Friday, but estimated theater counts were not available at the time of this report.

Top 10 v. Last Year

Boxoffice.com estimates this weekend’s top ten films will generate approximately $75 million. That would represent an estimated 31 percent drop from the same weekend last year when Kingsman: The Golden Circle ($39.0 million) and The LEGO Ninjago Movie ($20.4 million) debuted during the strong third frame of It ($29.8 million) as part of an overall $108.5 million top ten market.

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, September 23 % Change from Last Wknd
The House With A Clock In Its Walls Universal $22,000,000 $22,000,000 NEW
A Simple Favor Lionsgate $9,600,000 $31,600,000 -40%
The Predator Fox $9,500,000 $41,600,000 -61%
The Nun Warner Bros. / New Line $9,200,000 $99,600,000 -50%
Crazy Rich Asians Warner Bros. $6,000,000 $158,700,000 -31%

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