The calendar may still read September, but audiences heading to theaters were seeking some early October frights as Eli Roth's family horror comedy The House With A Clock In Its Walls easily dominated the weekend frame, and Corin Hardy's The Nun held steady to push its domestic cume past the $100 million mark, an impressive stat for the meaty Conjuring universe. Let's see how things shook out on the Top 10 chart:
By all accounts, this is a huge win for Eli Roth, Universal and The House With A Clock In Its Walls. Though adapted from a book, the movie had only a few cards on which to sell its audience: mild horror; Jack Black and Cate Blanchett; and Roth trying his hand at something a little more mainstream than, say, the Hostel movies. And it worked! House posted a whopping $26.8 million in estimated ticket sales, which isn't a blockbuster opening, but is better than Black showed in Goosebumps, the nearest comparable title.
The news wasn't great all over, because as you get away from The House With A Clock In Its Walls, the numbers start to steadily decline, leading to a rather poor weekend overall. In its second week, the devious thriller A Simple Favor -- starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick -- tumbled 35% and posted a $10.4 million three-day tally. That's also where The Nun landed on the chart, though the Conjuring chapter is in its third weekend and, as mentioned, has joined the rest of the Conjuring movies in the $100M club. A crowning achievement, and a vote of confidence in the work producer James Wan and his team are doing.
If you are looking for a legitimate tumble, look directly at The Predator. In its second weekend, Shane Black's sequel in the long-running franchise dropped a deadly 65%, posting an $8.7 million number. That hurts. Given the fact that the movie got off to a slow start in its debut weekend, the movie is only sitting at $40M domestically, and $94M globally. Not exactly setting the world on fire.
However, if The Predator wants to feel better about itself, it should ask writer-director Dan Fogelman how Life Itself did in its opening weekend. Plagued by horrendous reviews, the comedy-drama couldn't even crack the Top 10 despite being placed in 2,600 theaters. Whereas The House With A Clock In Its Walls averaged a robust $7,475 per theater, Life Itself posted $807 per theater. That's a disaster, and we don't expect to see the movie do better in the weeks to come, as reviews have crushed the potential word-of-mouth on this movie before it even started.
House could continue to play well as we get closer to Halloween, and we're also two weeks away from any real competition, with Venom and A Star Is Born opening on October 5. So it could be A House With Some Money In Its Vaults for at least one more week.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.