The House with a Clock in its Walls is smashing box office expectations, having taken number one this weekend with a respectable $26.8 million. Yahoo! also reported that Michael Moore’s newest venture, Fahrenheit 11/9, did not fare so well.
It was a fairly quiet weekend at the box office as summer winds down and fall begins. Eli Roth’s adaptation of the popular book for children immediately gathered steam. It helped that major stars Jack Black and Cate Blanchett were at the helm. The film also didn’t have much competition this weekend, and opened in nearly 4,000 locations. After the fantasy film, other holdovers made up the top 5 box office spots.
Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 did the best amongst other new releases, though it performed poorly against expectations. The documentary film takes an in-depth and satirical look at President Donald Trump. It came in at eighth place, but was released in fewer than 2,000 theaters. The film is distributed by Briarcliff Entertainment, and the number of theaters it was screened at was impressive for a targeted demographic film appealing to one side of the political divide. It’s possible that this hurt the film’s potential, because many films of this nature start with a much smaller release and build steam as word of mouth grows.
Documentaries in particular have had an excellent summer, with Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, RBG, and Three Identical Strangers all hitting double digit numbers. All three of those films had modest expansions after opening on fewer than a thousand screens. Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative filmmaker, also opened his documentary to more than 1,000 screens. His film, Death of a Nation, turned out to be his worst showing — bringing in under $6 million at the box office.
Both films feature Trump, albeit on different sides of the political spectrum. Regardless, it’s possible that Americans are simply over-saturated with political scandal and the presidency right now. Even fans of President Donald Trump would likely admit that they already see quite a lot of him on their screens already. They may want to spend their theater dollars on apolitical fare for a change.
One of Moore’s other documentaries — Fahrenheit 9/11, about the events of September 11, 2001 — is the highest grossing documentary of all time. It made $22 million in North America and $23 million globally.
Life Itself did not fare as well as anticipated, earning just $2.1 million. Assassination Nation, a teen thriller, made less than a million. The neo-noir mystery drama, A Simple Favor, is in second place, and The Nun is in third. Both continue to perform strongly, as does The Predator, which is in fourth place.