The House with a Clock in Its Walls (film)
|The House with a Clock in Its Walls|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Eli Roth|
|Written by||Eric Kripke|
The House with a Clock in Its Walls|
by John Bellairs
|Music by||Nathan Barr|
|Edited by||Fred Raskin|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$102.4 million|
The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a 2018 American family fantasy film directed by Eli Roth, based on the 1973 novel of the same name by John Bellairs. The film stars Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, and Owen Vaccaro, and follows a young boy who is sent to live with his uncle in a creaky old house. He soon learns it was previously also inhabited by a nefarious entity.
Universal Pictures released the film in the United States on September 21, 2018. It has grossed over $102 million worldwide and received moderately positive reviews from critics, who largely praised the cast but said it didn't fully live up to its potential.
In 1955, ten-year-old Lewis Barnavelt goes to New Zebedee, Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan in a creaky old house which has a mysterious ticking heart. Recently orphaned, Lewis only wants a normal childhood but soon discovers he is in line for anything but that. Uncle Jonathan is a well-intentioned warlock but, in his own description, only a parlor magician of modest ability, while his next-door neighbor and good friend, Florence Zimmerman, was once a far more powerful good witch. Years ago, something broke inside her causing all her spells to misfire. Jonathan's house was previously owned by Isaac and Selena Izard. Before dying, this sinister couple had constructed a powerful clock that is hidden somewhere within the house's walls, ticking eternally to pull the world into a magical alignment that would permit Isaac to cause the end of the world. When Lewis, wanting only to befriend and impress his popular classmate, Tarby Corrigan, attempts to raise a dead person in the local cemetery on Halloween, he accidentally releases the evil warlock, Isaac Izard, from his tomb. Things quickly go awry as Izard moves to recover the key and set the clock in motion to end the world. Now, Lewis, Jonathan, and Mrs. Zimmerman must summon all their courage to defeat Izard.
- Jack Black as Jonathan Barnavelt, Lewis's uncle and a magical warlock.
- Cate Blanchett as Florence Zimmerman, Jonathan's neighbor and friend and a witch.
- Owen Vaccaro as Lewis Barnavelt, Jonathan's 10-year old nephew.
- Kyle MacLachlan as Isaac Izard, an evil warlock
- Renée Elise Goldsberry as Selena Izard, Isaac's wife and a witch.
- Sunny Suljic as Tarby Corrigan, a classmate of Lewis.
- Vanessa Anne Williams as Rose Rita Pottinger, a classmate of Lewis.
- Colleen Camp as Mrs. Hanchett, Jonathan's nosey neighbor.
- Lorenza Izzo as Mrs. Barnavelt, Lewis' mother.
- Eli Roth as Comrade Ivan
The House with a Clock in Its Walls was released by Universal Pictures on September 21, 2018. Select IMAX screenings featured a 3D version of Michael Jackson's Thriller, which only ran for the first week of release.
As of October 16, 2018, The House with a Clock in Its Walls has grossed $62.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $39.7 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $102.4 million, against a production budget of $42 million.
In the United States and Canada, The House with a Clock in Its Walls was released alongside Assassination Nation, Life Itself and Fahrenheit 11/9, and was projected to gross $15–20 million from 3,592 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $7.8 million on its first day, including $840,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $26.9 million, finishing first at the box office and marking the best opening of Roth's career, surpassing Hostel in 2006 ($19.6 million). In its second weekend the film made $12.5 million, finishing third behind newcomers Night School and Smallfoot.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 67% based on 166 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "An entertaining PG detour for gore maestro Eli Roth, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a family-friendly blend of humor and horror with an infectious sense of fun." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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- Giles, Jeff (September 20, 2018). "The House with a Clock in Its Walls Ticks Along Tolerably". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
- "Weekend Box Office: 'The House With A Clock In Its Walls' Strikes Midnight On Its Competition". Uproxx. September 23, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "House With a Clock in Its Walls tops box office as Fahrenheit 11/9 fizzles". Entertainment Weekly. September 23, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- Kripke, Eric [@therealKripke] (October 10, 2017). "Day One! #HouseWithAClockInItsWalls Break a leg @eliroth, Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vacarro @Kyle_MacLachlan!! Dream come true!" (Tweet). Retrieved November 14, 2017 – via Twitter.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 26, 2017). "'The House With A Clock In Its Walls' Sets Alarm For Next September". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
- Fuster, Jeremy (September 18, 2018). "Can 'House With a Clock in Its Walls' Become the Fall's First Family Box Office Hit?". TheWrap. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 23, 2018). "'The House With A Clock In Its Walls' Sounding Near $27M Alarm; Counterprogramming Still In Deep Sleep". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 30, 2018). "'Night School' Top Of The Weekend's Box Office Class With $28M; Best Opening For A Comedy So Far This Year". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- "The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "The House with a Clock in Its Walls Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 26, 2018.