AceShowbiz - "The House with a Clock in Its Walls" soared above other pictures at North American box office. Eli Roth's adaptation of John Bellairs' 1973 novel of the same name debuted at the top spot of the chart on a quiet weekend with an estimated $26.9 million from ticket sales at 3,592 theaters.
The movie exceeded expectations as it was projected to debut in the $18 million-$25 million range. It marks the biggest opening for Roth as a director, surpassing his 2006 film "Hostel" which opened to $19.6 million. The dark fantasy comedy bowed with $3.1 million overseas for a global total of $29.9 million so far.
"Obviously, we couldn't be more pleased," said Universal's head of domestic distribution Jim Orr of the movie's No. 1 debut. "It's always great to kick off your fall slate at No. 1." He attributed the success to the right release date in a wide open market and the reputation of Roth, as well as star Jack Black and Cate Blanchett in the industry. "We really saw an opportunity to kick off the fall season with this PG family film, and obviously it was well-positioned," Orr added.
"The House with a Clock in Its Walls" easily defeated other titles at the chart, as other new wide releases disappointed. Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 11/9", a satirical look at President Donald Trump, was way behind at No. 8 with an estimated $3.1 million after opening in 1,719 theaters. The rest of the newcomers, including "Life Itself (2018)" from "This Is Us" creator Dan Fogelman and "Assassination Nation", debuted outside the top 10.
At No. 2 is "A Simple Favor", which climbed one spot from No. 2 despite dropping 35% in ticket sales, adding approximately $10.4 million to its domestic gross. It swapped place with "The Nun", which dropped to No. 3 with approximately $10.2 million.
Shane Black's "The Predator" fell to No. 4 after debuting to No. 1 last week, adding an estimated $8.7 million. "Crazy Rich Asians" maintained its position at No. 5 with an estimated $6.5 million for a slight decline of 25%.Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for Sept. 21-23: