Written by Dapo Olowu

Time to sound the alarm! Although ‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls’ over-achieved this Box Office weekend with a $26.6m gross, it’s the disappointing returns from the other three releases that’s the big news. Critically-panned romantic drama ‘Life Itself’, directed by Dan Fogelman and starring Oscar Isaac, didn’t even make the top ten with its $2.1m gross, while edgy black comedy ‘Assassination Nation’ barely made it past $1m.

Not even the great documenter Michael Moore could muster a strong opening, bringing in a paltry $3m from nearly 2,000 cinemas with ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’. It’s a story reflective of this weekend; it’s the smallest Friday-to-Sunday period of 2018 so far with just $91.8m grossed from 100 films.

A massive chunk of that, of course, came from Universal’s fantasy flick ‘The House’ (or ‘THWaCiIW’), which marked the biggest opening of director Eli Roth’s career thus far. Straying away from his usual gory horrors led to a 68% RT score – another career best. It also marks actor Jack Black’s biggest opening of 2018 and 4th biggest live-action opening ever, although doesn’t even sniff the top ten of Hollywood great Cate Blanchett, who stars as Florence Zimmerman, a witch and friend of Black’s character Jonathan Barnavelt, a magical warlock.

The film is matching 2016s fantasy ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Perculiar Children’, which opened to $28.9m at the end of September and finished on a respectable $87.2m, although it’s $110m is almost triple that of ‘The House’s impressive $42m production cost. A similar run through the Halloween period for ‘The House’ will do it nicely, and it’s likely this will be the case, as both boast pretty similar scores on the Tomatometer and on Cinemascore (B+).

Conjurverse’ horror ‘The Nun’ became the 4th film of the franchise to reach the coveted $100m mark domestically, grossing $10m in its 3rd weekend, while last weekend’s winner, ‘The Predator’, fell harshly, barely putting up a fight with $9.2m. Now just $600k over 2010s ‘Predators’ at the same time in its run (which ended with a domestic total of just $52m), the latest film in the Fox franchise is a certified flop.

The same can’t be said for Jon Chu’s ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, which continued to astound by officially breaking the $200m worldwide barrier this weekend. Its $6.3m gross left it ahead of ‘White Boy Rick’ ($4.9m), and marks a 27% drop from last weekend.

Michael Moore can only dream of his latest offering, ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’, living up to those lofty standards. The political documentary, sequel to the biggest documentary of all time in ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’, opened in 1,719 cinemas to just $3m – a whole $20m short of the opening of ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ 14 years ago. It marks Moore’s worst wide opening ever, although it’s still his 4th best opening out of the 10 films he’s released since 1989. It’s also the best reviewed of the weekend, as its A on Cinemascore stands tall amongst the B+’s of ‘The House’ and ‘Life Itself’. Silver linings, I guess.

Talking about ‘Life Itself’, the drama, released by Amazon Studios, endured a torrid start to life in U.S. cinemas with just $2.1m, but still bested its R-rated rival ‘Assassination Nation’s $1.1m. Reaching number 11 and 15 respectively, the two films can easily be classified as D.O.A, with the two even managing the unwanted label of earning a per-cinema average of under $1k in their opening weekend.

Although it was a disappointing weekend for many, Universal’s ‘The House’ managed to open alongside both ‘Miss Peregrine’ and ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’, even though it cost a fraction of their budgets. How well do you see this film doing? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.