The House

The House Information

The House is a 2017 American comedy film directed by Andrew J. Cohen, and co-written by Cohen and Brendan O'Brien. The film stars Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas, Ryan Simpkins, Nick Kroll, Allison Tolman, Rob Huebel, Michaela Watkins, and Jeremy Renner, and follows a couple that opens an underground casino in their friend's house in order to pay for their daughter's college tuition.

Principal photography began on September 14, 2015 in Los Angeles. The film was released on June 30, 2017, by Warner Bros. Pictures, received negative reviews from critics and grossed $34 million worldwide against its $40 million budget.


During their visit to Bucknell University, husband and wife Scott (Ferrell) and Kate Johansen (Poehler) warn their daughter of the dangers of being in college. Alex (Simpkins) acknowledges her parents' warnings and expresses her interest in attending the same university her parents went to. Alex gets accepted to the university, which the Johansens expect to be funded by their community's scholarship program.

Unfortunately, during a community town hall meeting, city councilor Bob Schaeffer (Kroll) announces that they will not be doing the scholarship program, in favor of building a community pool, to which everyone, except the Johansens, agrees. The Johansens try to find funding through asking for a loan, a salary raise for Scott, and getting Kate's job back, but are denied. They reluctantly agree to accompany their friend and neighbor, Frank Theodorakis (Mantzoukas), who is going through a divorce with wife Raina (Watkins) (due to his gambling and porn addiction), to a previously planned trip to Las Vegas. After numerous wins playing craps they lose their winnings after Scott jinxes the table by telling Frank not to roll a seven.

Back home, Frank convinces the Johansens to start an underground casino in his own house to raise money for their daughter's tuition and to help him get his wife back. The casino operation proves to be running smoothly as they gain more customers. In another community town hall meeting, Bob, the city councilor, becomes suspicious as there are only a few attendees, and suspends the meeting until after launching an investigation. Back to the Johansens' casino, Frank discovers that one of the gamblers, Carl (Zissis), is counting cards. The Johansens and Frank confront him, but he brags that he works for mob boss Tommy Papouli (Renner). Scott accidentally chops off Carl's middle finger, earning him the nickname "The Butcher", making the community afraid of him, which inadvertently increases their profits.

Several thousand dollars away from reaching their goal, they are caught by Bob and officer Chandler (Huebel), who confiscate their money and order them to close down the casino. Nonetheless, they continue their business. The house burns down after being invaded by Tommy Papouli, whom the Johansens accidentally set on fire. Having admitted their plot to Alex, they team up with officer Chandler, who had let them loose, to steal the money back from Bob. Officer Chandler convinces Bob that the three still continued the casino even after he had ordered them to stop and shows a video of the people mocking him. Bob asks Officer Chandler to go with him to arrest the Johansens at the casino, which gives the Johansens the chance to steal their money back. Dawn (Tolman) alerts Bob that the Johansens are in the town hall, which convinces Bob to go back. Bob tries to make Officer Chandler drive faster, but gets into an accident himself. Bob runs back on foot to the town hall to find the Johansens with the money. After chasing the Johansens, Bob reveals his personal interest with the casino money as well as his plot to steal money from the city budget for himself and Dawn, who leaves him and returns to her husband Joe (Scovel). Bob is arrested, while Scott and Kate use the money they took back from him to pay for their daughter's college tuition.


  • Will Ferrell as Scott Johansen, husband of Kate and father of Alex. He teams up with his wife and neighbor to start an illegal casino in his house to earn money, after he and his wife lose their daughter's college scholarship.
  • Amy Poehler as Kate Johansen, Scott's wife and Alex's mother
  • Jason Mantzoukas as Frank Theodorakis, Kate and Scott's best friend and Raina's husband, with a serious gambling problem, and who gives the couple the idea to start a casino.
  • Ryan Simpkins as Alex Johansen, Scott and Kate's daughter
  • Nick Kroll as Bob Schaeffer, a crooked City Hall councilman who creates trouble for Scott, Kate, and Frank when he finds out about their gambling ring.
  • Allison Tolman as Dawn Mayweather, the City's treasurer, who is married to Joe and has an affair with Bob.
  • Rob Huebel as Police Officer Chandler
  • Michaela Watkins as Raina Theodorakis, Frank's wife, who's separated from Frank due to his gambling problem, and wants him to sign divorce papers.
  • Jeremy Renner as Tommy Papouli, a local mafia boss
  • Cedric Yarbrough as Reggie Henderson, a hardworking suburban resident who starts gambling in the new casino to de-stress.
  • Rory Scovel as Joe Mayweather, retired at 30, bored out of his mind and Dawn's husband
  • Lennon Parham as Martha, a woman who gets a little too caught up in the Las Vegas-style lifestyle that emerges in the neighborhood
  • Andrea Savage as Laura, one of the neighbors who always gets into friction with Martha
  • Andy Buckley as Craig, one of the neighbors who starts gambling in the new casino
  • Kyle Kinane as Kevin Garvey, one of the neighbors who starts gambling in the new casino
  • Jessie Ennis as Rachel, Alex's friend
  • Christina Andrea Offley as Davida, Alex's friend
  • Steve Zissis as Carl Shackler, a henchman of Tommy Papouli who cheats at the casino
  • Sam Richardson as Marty, Scott's boss
  • Randall Park and Jessica St. Clair as Buckler and Reba, the Wall Street guys
  • Gillian Vigman as Becky
  • Alexandra Daddario as Corsica
  • Wayne Federman as Chip Dave
  • Sebastian Maniscalco as Stand-Up Comic
  • Ian Roberts as Driver at College Campus
  • Linda Porter as Old Lady


On February 25, 2015, it was announced that New Line Cinema had won an auction for the comedy script The House, written by Brendan O'Brien and Andrew J. Cohen, and that Cohen would make his directorial debut with the film. Will Ferrell would star as a husband who teams up with his wife and neighbors to start an illegal casino in his basement, to earn money, after their daughter's college scholarship is lost. Ferrell and Adam McKay produced through Gary Sanchez Productions, along with Good Universe and O'Brien. Amy Poehler joined the cast on June 12, 2015, to play Ferrell's character's wife. On June 16, 2015, Jason Mantzoukas joined to play Ferrell's character's best friend, who is dealing with a gambling problem, and who gives the couple the idea to start a casino. On August 28, 2015, Ryan Simpkins was added to the cast, to play Ferrell and Poehler's characters' daughter. On September 15, 2015, Cedric Yarbrough signed on to play Reggie Henderson, a hardworking suburban resident who starts gambling in the new casino to de-stress. Frank Gerrish also joined the film. On September 18, 2015, Rob Huebel was added to the cast, and on September 21, 2015, Allison Tolman and Michaela Watkins were added to the cast, with Tolman playing a financial advisor, and Watkins playing Mantzoukas' character's wife, who wants him to sign divorce papers. Nick Kroll also joined the cast. Mariah Carey was supposed to have a cameo in the film, but had what co-star Rob Huebel called "multiple unrealistic demands".

Principal photography on the film began on September 14, 2015, in Los Angeles.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is credited as executive producer.


The House was released on June 30, 2017, by Warner Bros. The original date was June 2, 2017.

Box office

The House grossed $25.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $8.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $34.2 million, against a production budget of $40 million.

In North America, The House opened alongside Despicable Me 3 and Baby Driver, as well as the wide expansion of The Beguiled, and was projected to gross $10-14 million from 3,134 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $3.4 million on its first day (including $800,000 from Thursday night previews). It went on to open to $8.7 million, marking the lowest studio debut of Ferrell's career as a lead actor. In its second weekend the film made $4.8 million (a drop of 45.2%), finishing 7th at the box office.

Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 18% based on 74 reviews, and has an average rating of 3.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The House squanders a decent premise and a talented cast on thin characterizations and a shortage of comic momentum." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a weighted average score of 30 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B?" on an A+ to F scale.


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2017 Golden Trailer Awards Best Comedy The House

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