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'House With a Clock in Its Walls' leads box office as 'Fahrenheit 11/9' fails to leave an impression

'House With a Clock in Its Walls' leads box office as 'Fahrenheit 11/9' fails to leave an impression
From left, Jack Black, Owen Vaccaro and Cate Blanchett star in Universal's "The House with a Clock in Its Walls," from Amblin Entertainment. (Quantrell D. Colbert / Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment)

Of the four new wide releases this weekend, only Universal's "The House With a Clock In its Walls" managed to place among the top five at the box office.

Amblin Entertainment's PG-rated fantasy opened in first place in the United States and Canada with $26.8 million, above analysts' predictions of $18 million to $25 million, according to figures from measurement firm ComScore.

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Based on John Bellairs' book about a boy who moves into a supernatural mansion owned by a mysterious uncle, the film cost an estimated $40 million to make. It earned positive reviews from audiences and critics with a B-plus CinemaScore rating and a 68% "fresh" on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

The film marks the biggest opening ever for director Eli Roth whose most notable film, "Hostel," opened with $19 million in 2006.

In second place, Lionsgate's "A Simple Favor" added $10.4 million in its second weekend (a strong hold with just a 35% drop) for a cumulative $32.6 million.

Warner Bros.' "The Nun" landed at No. 3 in its third weekend, adding $10.2 million to its cumulative $100.9 million in ticket sales.

At No. 4, Fox's "The Predator" added $8.7 million in its second weekend, a massive drop of 65%, for a cumulative $40.4 million.

Rounding out the top five, Warner Bros.' "Crazy Rich Asians" added $6.5 million in its sixth weekend, for a cumulative $159.4 million.

Among the wide releases that underperformed this weekend, all were distributed by studios who don't typically release on that scale.

First-time distributor Briarcliff's Michael Moore documentary "Fahrenheit 11/9" landed at No. 8 with $3.1 million, just under analysts' predictions of $4 million.

An attack on the Trump presidency, the film opened well below Moore's 2004 anti-George W. Bush polemic "Fahrenheit 9/11," which opened with $24 million and, with $119 million in domestic receipts, went on to become the highest grossing documentary ever.

The success of the earlier film led to high expectations for "Fahrenheit 11/9," which were heightened by the film’s release in more than 1,700 theaters. Though it came in just under projections, "Fahrenheit 11/9" is Moore's second-highest opening ever and a huge result for a documentary.

Amazon Studios opened the drama "Life Itself" with $2.1 million across 2,609 locations, the widest release ever for the studio.

The film, which follows a multigenerational love story, came in well under analysts' predictions of $4 million to $6 million.

Starring Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde and written by Dan Fogelman (creator of the critically acclaimed TV show "This Is Us"), it earned mixed reviews with audiences and critics with a B-plus rating on CinemaScore and a 13% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Neon's thriller "Assassination Nation" opened with $1 million in 1,403 theaters, the widest release ever for the 2-year-old studio on an opening weekend. It earned a so-so 65% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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In limited release, Bleecker Street opened "Collette" in four theaters with $156,788, a strong per-screen average of $39,197. The film, which stars Keira Knightley, earned positive reviews from critics with a 92% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Annapurna's "The Sisters Brothers" also performed with $122,028 across four locations for a per-screen average of $30,507. It earned an 82% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Next week, Lionsgate releases the horror "Hell Fest," Pinnacle Peak opens the drama "Little Women," Universal drops the comedy "Night School" and Warner Bros. reveals the animation "Smallfoot."

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