The House With a Clock In Its Walls earned director Eli Roth's biggest opening weekend of his career. Over the years, Roth has carved out a niche for himself as a gore and violence auteur, helming films like Hostel and the Death Wish remake. So, it was quite surprising to see him call the shots on a family-friendly Amblin fantasy/horror hybrid that looked to encapsulate a sense of awe and wonder in younger viewers. However, Roth proved he is more than a one-trick pony, and many critics agree House With a Clock In Its Walls is an entertaining ride.
With few exceptions (last year's IT, for example), September is usually a rather slow month at the box office. It's more or less a down period between the end of the summer blockbusters and the arrival of awards contenders and holiday releases. As such, it read as a smart decision by Universal to place House With a Clock In Its Walls in this month, as it wouldn't face much in the way of high-profile competition. Fortunately for the studio, that choice paid off and Roth got to celebrate a new personal record.
Per Box Office Mojo, The House With a Clock In Its Walls grossed $26.8 million in its first three days. That figure on its own doesn't look like the most impressive, but it is far and away the best debut of Roth's directorial output. It topped the $19.5 million posted by the original Hostel back in 2006. House With a Clock In Its Walls didn't get much help from the foreign markets, as its global total stands at about $30 million.
This is a solid start for House With a Clock In Its Walls, which was moderately budgeted at $42 million. That means its break even point is just $84 million worldwide, and it'll be interesting to see how it holds in the coming weeks. There isn't much of note coming out next weekend, though the animated film Smallfoot should take away some of House's family business. The beginning of October is going to be much tougher, with Oscar frontrunner A Star is Born and Sony's Venom both premiering. In the case of Venom, it's projected to break the all-time October opening record, so odds are House With a Clock In Its Walls will be overshadowed by then. The word-of-mouth is generally positive, so hopefully it's able to draw decent crowds for the remainder of its run, though it's unlikely to crossover.
Last week's champion, The Predator, took a nosedive and fell to fourth in its second weekend, grossing $8.7 million. Its domestic total now stands at $40.4 million, and things probably won't get much better from here due to the mostly negative reception. The rest of the top five was rounded out by A Simple Favor ($10.4 million), The Nun ($10.2 million), and Crazy Rich Asians ($6.5 million).
Source: Box Office Mojo
- The House with a Clock in its Walls (2018) release date: Sep 21, 2018