September 22, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “House With A Clock” Dominates Sleepy Weekend; “Fahrenheit 11/9,” “Life Itself,” “Assassination Nation” Crash


It’s been 7 weeks since Christopher Robin arrived for the family audience, and THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS (Universal) took advantage of that drought with a $7.7M opening day according to early numbers at Deadline, which should give it a $24M weekend.  House had a moderate production budget and a marketing campaign that didn’t attempt tentpole-level saturation, so on a $75M US total, it should be on track for a fair amount of profit, especially if there turns out to be wide international appeal.

The rest was ashes.  Michael Moore’s FAHRENHEIT 11/9 (Briarcliff) strongly suggested that Americans are getting quite enough politics in their daily lives these days, and don’t feel the need to pay for more at the box office, with a $1.1M Friday that may get it to $3M for the weekend.  Moore has only had one other wide opening in his career, his blockbuster Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004, but this won’t equal the $4.4M expansions of his 2007 Sicko and 2009 Capitalism: A Love Story.  Even if 11/9 can hold onto its theatres through Election Day, it would struggle to reach a $15M US total.

LIFE ITSELF (Amazon) fared even worse, with $800K on Friday for a likely $2-2.5M weekend.  Exit polls were stronger than the atrocious reviews, but writer/director Dan Fogelman will have to content himself with his massive This Is Us success, as $10M is an optimistic forecast for his film’s US total.

ASSASSINATION NATION (Neon) was a disastrous attempt to find wide success with a cult item, only managing $1M for the weekend at 1403 theatres, a $700 per-theatre average.

There was better news for some of the holdovers.  A SIMPLE FAVOR (H Brothers/STX) dipped just 45% on its 2nd Friday to $3.3M, for a solid $10M weekend that puts it on track for $50M+ in the US, with another weekend to itself before A Star Is Born comes after its female audience.

THE NUN (New Line/Warners) dropped 51% on its 3rd Friday to $2.9M, for a $9M weekend that puts $120M in its US sights, the #2 performance in the Conjuring universe behind only the original’s $137.4M.

THE PREDATOR (TSG/20th) slumped by 77% on its 2nd Friday to $2.4M and an $8M weekend.  That’s in keeping with the 79% Friday drop and $7M Weekend 2 for the much-cheaper Predators, and suggests that the new Predator will also end up at around $50M in the US, but fated for red ink because of its higher cost unless it’s bailed out overseas.

CRAZY RICH ASIANS (SK Global/Warners) continued to reap the benefits of great word of mouth, down a mere 29% on its 6th Friday to $1.8M, and aiming for a $6M weekend and a US total that should hit $170M.

WHITE BOY RICK (Studio 8/Columbia/Sony) had a decent hold, down 57% on its 2nd Friday, but that still put it at only $1.5M for the day with a $4.5M weekend ahead.  It might get past $25M in the US, not enough to mark any kind of financial success.

PEPPERMINT (H Brothers/STX) fell 46% on its 3rd Friday to $900K for a $3M weekend, on its way to a mild $25M US total.

COLETTE (Bleecker Street) is off to a promising start, looking to average $40K in each of its 4 NY/LA arthouses for the weekend.  Despite an aggressive in-house Q&A weekend, THE SISTERS BROTHERS (Annapurna) is weaker with a $30K weekend average at its 4 arthouses.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."