Box-Office Preview: 'House With a Clock in Its Walls' Sets Alarm for $18M-Plus Bow

The weekend's other new offerings include Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 11/9,' teen black comedy 'Assassination Nation' and multigenerational drama 'Life Itself.'

Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment looks to clean the competition's clock this weekend with The House With a Clock in Its Walls, a fantasy adventure about a young orphan who goes to live with his spooky uncle that stars Jack Black and Cate Blanchett.

Directed by Eli Roth, the family film is tracking to top the chart with a debut between $18 million and $20 million for Amblin and partner Universal. The movie, based on the classic book written by John Bellairs and illustrated by Edward Gorey, will play in roughly 3,300 theaters.

With the fall awards season underway, a flurry of more specialized films also open nationwide this weekend.

Michael Moore's satirical, anti-Trump documentary Fahrenheit 11/9 — hoping to galvanize moviegoers in the lead-up to the midterm elections, as well as participate in the box office doc boom — is tracking to bow in the $5 million-$8 million range from 1,719 cinemas.

In 2004, Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 debuted to a record-breaking $23.9 million from 868 locations. Otherwise, most of his films, similar to other political or issue-driven docs, have opened first in select theaters before slowly expanding their footprint.

Fahrenheit 11/9 marks the first release from Tom Ortenberg's new company, Briarcliff. (Ortenberg worked with Moore on Fahrenheit 9/11 while stationed at Lionsgate.)

Sam Levinson's satire-thriller Assassination Nation braves the waters months after specialty distributor Neon partnered with the Russo brothers in ponying up a reported $10 million for rights to the no-holds-barred black comedy upon the film's premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival.

A modern-day take on the Salem witch trials, the ensemble revenge pic follows a group of gun-toting teenage girls who must save their small town after a data hack exposes everyone's dirty little secrets. Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Bella Thorne, Abra, Anika Noni Rose, Colman Domingo, Maude Apatow and Joel McHale star.

Assassination Nation, playing in 1,403 locations, is tracking for a launch of around $4 million.

Also debuting is Life Itself, a dramedy from Amazon Studios directed by This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman. Amazon likewise doled out north of $10 million following a bidding war for rights to the pic.

The movie, which follows multiple couples over the decades who share a single event, is rolling out in 2,578 theaters. Its cast includes Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cook, Laia Costa, Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas. 

Prerelease surveys show Life Itself launching in the $4 million-$6 million range.