Written by Dapo Olowu

The 38th weekend of 2018 promises no major Box Office shocks, but will provide an opportunity for all four wide releases to break into the top ten, mirroring last weekend’s quad-feat. Universal’s fantasy ‘The House with a Clock in Its Walls’, based on a 1973 novel, looks to be the one that tops the charts with an okay $22m – the studio’s first B.O. win since ‘Jurassic World’ in June.

This marks new territory for director Eli Roth, who’s usually known for his low-budget gory horrors (remember the ‘Hostel’ franchise?). The $42m-budget family-friendly fantasy looks to become the biggest opening for the 46-year-old, leapfrogging ‘Hostel’s $19.6m back in 2006.

It’s easy to draw comparisons between ‘The House’ and to films like ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ and ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’; the fantasy-heavy nature of these PG book adaptations contributed to ‘Wrinkle’ and ‘Alice’ opening in the $30m region, even with their poor critical reception. While these two films bombed rather heavily, ‘The House’s lower budget diminishes most of the risk for the Jack Black and Cate Blanchett-fronted family film.

It also boasts the best Rotten Tomatoes score (58% vs. ‘Wrinkle’s 42% and ‘Alice’s 30%) and a lack of direct competition, but in the end it won’t be able to hit that $30m target due to the studio likely spending far less on promo. Still, it’ll be the only film this weekend to see its gross enter the double digits, as nearest competitor ‘A Simple Favor’ should gross around $9.7m.

From a purely Box Office viewpoint, it hasn’t been the best of years for Oscar Isaac. First came critical-darling but commercial-flop ‘Annihilation’, then last month’s ‘Operation Finale’ (currently struggling to reach $20m domestically), and now it’s the romantic comedy-drama ‘Life Itself’. Its 14% on Rotten Tomatoes and relatively small 2,500 cinema count means that our already-optimistic $8m could even be halved once Sunday is over.

The film also stars ‘Ready Player One’ actress Olivia Cooke, as well as Mandy Patinkin, Antonio Banderas, and Olivia Wilde, and follows different generations of people across the world who are connected through one single event. It’s an interest concept with a strong cast, but one that seemingly falls flat with the critics, and won’t impress in the Box Office either.

Last weekend’s winner ‘The Predator’ continues to lose its Box Office fight, with a near-70% drop to gross just $7.9m. It’ll be battling Michael Moore’s ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’, the sequel to the biggest ever documentary of all time, 2004s ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’. While before the focus was on presidential reign of George W. Bush, now the politically-charged documentary sets its sight on the Trump administration, and looks to kick things off with a $6m gross from 1,719 cinemas.

Finally, we round the weekend off with female-centric ‘Assassination Nation’, produced by David S. Goyer. Originally meant to be a limited release, but now opening wide in 1,400 cinemas, the indie flick directed by Sam Levinson hopes to make over $2m for a shot at the top ten.

Will ‘The House With a Clock In Its Wall’ match the heights of ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ and ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’, or will it fall short? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.