The Clock Strikes No. 1

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clock house picture

Intrepid Plugged In reviewer Bob Hoose said of The House With a Clock in Its Walls, “One can only hope that wise parents are scared away from this freaky flick … long before their kids are.”

Nearly $27 million-worth of folks—parents, children and otherwise—ignored Mr. Hoose’s sage advice and went to see this not-so-kid-friendly fright flick. It earned an estimated $26.9 million in North America to snag a convincing weekend win at the box office, more than doubling the take of its nearest competitor.

Not that it was a particularly hard weekend to win. Everything except Clock struggled, it seems: In fact, Box Office Mojo says it was one of the weakest weekends of the year.

Of the four wide releases this week, only Clock managed to even crack the top five. Holdovers ruled, with the sophomore flick A Simple Favor leading the charge. The mystery earned $10.4 million. That was just a fearsome thread ahead of The Nun, which finished third with nearly $10.3 million. The Nun has now cleared $100.9 million in North America, making it the fourth of the five movies in The Conjuring series to crack nine figures.

The Predator, last Monday’s champ, turned prey this weekend—cowering somewhere in the jungle with the $8.7 million it earned, finishing fourth. Crazy Rich Asians closed out the top five for the second-straight week, collecting $6.5 million.

We don’t come across another new release ’til No. 8, where Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore’s latest documentary/political statement, lurks. It collected about $3.1 million—not bad for your typical doc, but more than $20 million off the pace Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 set in its opening weekend 14 years ago.

Life Itself suffered an ignominious death at the box office, registering just $2.1 million to settle into 11th. But it still suffered a kinder fate than Assassination Nation. The angry, insanely graphic thriller got gunned down in the box-office streets, earning just $1 million to finish 15th.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

charitysplace 7 months ago
SPOILERS.

I was really torn about THWACITWs. I really, really loved 90% of that movie. The witty dialogue. The atmospheric structure. The characters were fantastic. The 50's vibe throughout. The intentional throwbacks to the original Gorey illustrations in the book. I even liked what they added to the novel, how they fleshed it out and enriched it. But then I got to the necromancy (which I knew was coming, since I had read it) and... it was like this cold, uneasy feeling settled over me for the rest of the film. It disturbed me. The corpse walking around. The flashback of feeding a demon blood in the woods. My spiritual discernment radar was screaming in my ears this isn't good. I'm glad I have Fantastic Beasts to look forward to; I'm really sad this isn't a movie I can bring home.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I am sorrry, but I did have a chuckle at the irony of your spiritual alarm bells going off at The House With A Clock In Its Walls, and then you immediately turn around and say you're looking forward to Fantastic Beasts! If the Wizarding World doesn't cause alarm bells to scream when it comes to your spiritual discernment, your discernment is questionable. Especially if THWACIIW does trigger your suspicion. Harry Potter has been much worse at times.
charitysplace 7 months ago
If you're leaping to that conclusion (HP being worse than Clock) I'm guessing you have never read or seen Harry Potter.

The darkest Harry Potter ever got was returning Voldemort to his human body after the murder of an innocent student (which had nothing to do with his resurrection). That scene is child's play in comparison to Lewis slicing open his hand, dripping blood on a pentagram, and performing a satanic ritual to resurrect an evil sorcerer from the dead, who appears as a ghastly, bloated corpse walking around for the rest of the movie.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Oh, I’ve seen Harry Potter. In fact there was a time around 6 years ago when I would have considered myself a super fan. But I had an encounter with Christ and he caused me to question this series. So many dark moments. My eyes were opened and for the first time, I critically examined what I was consuming. I try not to judge those who are still fans - there’s a lot to like about HP, that I can admit. But as for me, I don’t own the books or movies anymore and I do think this has been beneficial for my spiritual health. 

You think the part where Voldemort is resurrected is the darkest part? For me it was the part where Hermione is attacked in the 7th book/movie. That brought tears to my eyes and really disturbed me. This series is very much not for children. But if you’re talking about spiritual darkness, that abounds too. Sure, it’s not “openly” spiritually dark like THWACIIW, but I think you could make a good argument that THWACIIW is no darker than HP, spiritually.
Anonymous 7 months ago
in my opinion, Freddy Kruger and Pennywise The Clown (my namesake) are both way more qualified for making children's entertainment then Eli Roth is lol 
-Davidiswise The Clown