Weekend Box Office (September 21 - 23, 2018)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Jack Black was back in the number one spot for the fifth time this year with the fantasy adventure The House with a Clock in Its Walls which debuted to an estimated $26.9M from 3,592 theaters for a strong $7,475 average. The actor had spent four non-consecutive frames on top at the beginning of the year with Jumanji and audiences of all ages were ready to check out his next offering.

Universal witnessed a performance that topped the $23.6M launch of the actor's Goosebumps from two years ago which also was a spooky PG-rated pic released in the pre-Halloween window aimed at families. Reviews were somewhat good but ticket buyers came out for the well-known source material, the flashy and fun look, plus the starpower of Black and co-star Cate Blanchett.

Studio data showed that the crowd was 52% male, 54% under 25, and 53% white. The B+ CinemaScore is not bad and playability looks good in the weeks ahead as the pumpkin holiday approaches. Goosebumps went on to finish with 3.4 times its opening.

The mystery A Simple Favor held up well in its second weekend and actually climbed up a spot from third to second with an estimated $10.4M, off just 35%. Lionsgate has banked $32.6M to date and could be headed for a finish of about $55M which would be a solid performance for this Anna Kendrick-Blake Lively pic which has been powered by young women.

The Nun dropped a reasonable 44% to an estimated $10.3M pushing the cume for Warners past the century mark at $100.9M. By this time next week, Nun will become the second highest grossing pic of the 5-film Conjuring franchise behind only the first film. Crumbling 65% in its sophomore session was last week's top film The Predator with an estimated $8.7M. Fox has taken in $40.4M to date and the final gross should come close to the $52M of 2010's franchise installment Predators which suffered a more terrifying 72% freefall in its second weekend.

The sleeper hit Crazy Rich Asians spent its sixth weekend in the top five with an estimated $6.5M slipping only 25% for the smallest decline in the top ten. Total has risen to $159.4M on its way to the $180M neighborhood. Sony's White Boy Rick featuring Matthew McConaughey fell by 44% to an estimated $5M in its sophomore frame putting the cume at $17.4M. Jennifer Garner followed with her revenge saga Peppermint which was down 38% to an estimated $3.7M for STX and $30.3M overall.

Michael Moore, the box office king of documentaries, stumbled with his latest entry Fahrenheit 11/9 which fared poorly on its opening weekend. The R-rated film from new distributor Briarcliff managed to gross only an estimated $3.1M this weekend from 1,719 theaters for a dismal $1,803 average. It was a very wide launch for a doc and reviews were quite positive, but audiences just did not come out for it. Critiquing Trump, the 2016 election and beyond, 11/9 offered much of what has been on the TV news airwaves constantly for the past couple of years so many in the target audience felt it unnecessary to pay to see this on the big screen which comes in stark contrast to the handful of docs which have done exceptionally well at the box office this year providing more unique stories.

Down 39% in its seventh round was The Meg with an estimated $2.4M for Warner Bros. and a healthy $140.5M cume. Global has now shot up to an impressive $516.4M. The word-of-mouth hit thriller Searching slipped 32% to an estimated $2.2M and upped its sum to $23.1M for Sony.

There was plenty of activity below the top ten from wide release flops as well as strong platform debuts. The creator of the TV ratings monster This Is Us found no luck pulling his fan base out to a multiplex as the new film Life Itself was ignored on opening weekend grossing only $2.1M, according to estimates. The R-rated film from Amazon averaged a miserable $805 from 2,609 locations and poor reviews repelled any interested bodies. The teen thriller Assassination Nation bowed to an estimated $1M from 1,403 sites for a horrible $713 average for Neon.

Bleecker Street scored the best arthouse debut of the weekend with its new Keira Knightley drama Collette which opened to an estimated $157,000 from four houses in New York and Los Angeles for a sizzling $39,250 average. Reviews were sensational and the roll-out will see a dozen more major markets open next weekend on its way to national play on October 12. Annapurna did well too with The Sisters Brothers which collected an estimated $122,000, also from four NY/LA sites, for a solid $30,500 average.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $79.1M which was down 27% from last year when Kingsman: The Golden Circle opened at number one with $39M; and down 15% from 2016 when The Magnificent Seven debuted in the top spot with $34.7M.

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Watch the trailer for Captain Marvel.

Compared to projections, The House with a Clock in Its Walls opened above my $20M forecast while Fahrenheit 11/9 came in well below my $9M prediction.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Night School, Smallfoot, and Hell Fest all open.

# Title Sep 21 - 23 Sep 14 - 16 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 House with a Clock in Its Walls $ 26,608,020 3,592 1 $ 7,408 $ 26,608,020 Universal
2 A Simple Favor 10,252,206 16,011,689 -36.0 3,102 2 3,305 32,414,620 Lionsgate
3 The Nun 9,965,635 18,238,263 -45.4 3,707 3 2,688 100,610,942 Warner Bros.
4 The Predator 9,176,459 24,632,284 -62.7 4,070 2 2,255 40,911,581 Fox
5 Crazy Rich Asians 6,346,641 8,688,369 -27.0 2,802 6 2,265 159,271,124 Warner Bros.
6 White Boy Rick 4,857,655 8,860,431 -45.2 2,504 2 1,940 17,268,023 Sony
7 Peppermint 3,684,122 6,004,227 -38.6 2,680 3 1,375 30,296,681 STX
8 Fahrenheit 11/9 3,008,563 1,719 1 1,750 3,008,563 Briarcliff
9 The Meg 2,265,438 3,862,851 -41.4 2,003 7 1,131 140,438,357 Warner Bros.
10 Searching 2,150,829 3,179,538 -32.4 1,787 5 1,204 23,091,173 Sony
11 Life Itself 2,123,463 2,609 1 814 2,123,463 Amazon
12 Unbroken: Path to Redemption 1,284,253 2,238,723 -42.6 1,484 2 865 4,539,775 Pure Flix
13 Mission: Impossible - Fallout 1,162,813 2,285,225 -49.1 871 9 1,335 218,137,480 Paramount
14 Christopher Robin 1,070,226 2,150,149 -50.2 1,252 8 855 96,906,023 Disney
15 Assassination Nation 1,050,021 1,403 1 748 1,050,021 Neon
16 The Wife 890,350 1,122,185 -20.7 469 6 1,898 4,891,527 Sony Classics
17 BlacKkKlansman 647,905 1,260,890 -48.6 454 7 1,427 47,128,255 Focus
18 Hotel Transylvania 3 575,995 776,843 -25.9 518 11 1,112 166,052,980 Sony
19 Incredibles 2 533,570 746,709 -28.5 500 15 1,067 606,357,928 Disney
20 Alpha 377,548 1,074,896 -64.9 544 6 694 35,200,118 Sony
Top 5 $ 62,348,961 $ 76,431,036 -18.4
Top 10 78,315,568 94,001,600 -16.7
Top 20 88,031,712 103,466,172 -14.9
Top 20 vs. 2017 88,031,712 114,804,999 -23.3

Last Updated: September 23, 2018 at 12:45PM ET

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