Filming began in February 2015 in London and the Tampa Bay Area. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, on September 25, 2016, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 30, 2016, by 20th Century Fox. It grossed $296 million worldwide against a production budget of $110 million.
For years, Abraham Portman has told stories to his grandson Jacob about his amazing childhood surviving as a Jew during World War II, battling monsters trying to eat him, and living at a secret home for children in Cairnholm, Wales. According to Abe, the home's children and their headmistress Miss Alma Peregrine possess paranormal abilities and are known as "Peculiars". When Jacob turns sixteen, Abe starts to get frequent panic attacks and constantly calls his grandson, believing the "monsters" are after him. In response to another one of those phone call, Jake goes to Abe's house only to find him dying with his eyes removed. Abe's last words are a mystery: Go to "the loop of September 3, 1943" and "the bird" will tell you everything. Jake believes his grandfather to be crazy, but espies a monster exactly like the ones described in Abe's stories disappearing in the bushes.
Jake's parents sign him up for weekly psychiatrist check-ups as he is constantly puzzled by Abe's last words as well as experiencing frequent nightmares and trauma. Following advice from his psychiatrist Dr. Golan and by a secret letter from Miss Peregrine to Abe, Jake travels to Cairnholm with his father Frank to investigate the children's home, whereupon he learns that it was destroyed during a Luftwaffe raid. However upon visiting the ruined house, he finds the children there alive and well. They take him through a portal in a cave and he emerges in the year 1943 when the house was still intact. Miss Peregrine greets him and explains that she belongs to a class of female Peculiars named "Ymbrynes" who can transform into birds (in Miss Peregrine's case, a peregrine falcon) and manipulate time. To avoid persecution, she and the children hide from the outside world in a time loop she created, accessible only to Peculiars and set to September 3, 1943. This time loop allows them to live the same day repeatedly and avoid aging as long as they stay inside of it.
Jake is introduced to the rest of the children, including aerokinetic Emma Bloom, to whom he is attracted (as Abe was). Jake learns that he himself is a Peculiar and, like Abe, has the ability to see the invisible monsters from Abe's stories, "Hollowgasts" (or "Hollows"). Hollows are disfigured Peculiar scientists that resulted from killing an Ymbryne in a failed experiment to become immortal by harvesting her powers. Led by shapeshifter Mr. Barron, they hunt Peculiars (mostly children) to consume their eyeballs. These eyeballs allow them to become "Wights", Hollows with regained visible human forms, but with milky-white eyes.
A wounded Ymbryne named Miss Avocet arrives and explains that Barron raided her January 2016 time loop at Blackpool, England, killed her children, and was trying to repeat his failed experiment by using more Ymbrynes. Jake realized earlier that a Hollow could be in the island after he sees eyeless sheep corpses in the present. Worried, Miss Peregrine decides to move out with her children and Miss Avocet. Jake returns to 2016 and realizes the Hollow is even closer after another victim was killed, so he goes back to the cave to warn his friends. However, he is followed by another visitor on the island, an ornithologist named John Lamont who reveals himself to be Mr. Barron.
Barron reveals that he was about to gain Miss Peregrine's loop from Abe, but his hungry Hollow companion Mr. Malfous (the one on the island) killed him before he could. Barron then posed as Dr. Golan and encouraged Jake to go to the island so he could find the loop. Using Jake as a hostage at the children's home, Barron forces Miss Peregrine to trap herself in bird form and takes her to Blackpool, leaving Jake, the other children, and Miss Avocet as prey for Malfous. Malfous arrives and kills Miss Avocet, but Jake and the children escape just as the Luftwaffe bomb is about to destroy the house. Without Miss Peregrine to reset it, the house is destroyed and the loop closes, leaving Jake and the children stuck in 1943, but safe from Malfous, who is killed in the explosion. Rescuing a sunken ocean liner named the "RMS Augusta", they travel to Blackpool and enter its January 2016 loop, fight Barron's Wight and Hollow allies, and rescue Miss Peregrine and other captive Ymbrynes. Barron disguises himself as Jake, hoping to confuse the children who have come to finish him off. When the last remaining Hollow arrives, Jake is able to avoid it as it kills Barron by mistake and then kill it with the crossbow.
Before the time loop closes, Emma tells Jake that because of Miss Peregrine's injury in the battle, the children will live in 1943 and that they will handle the Hollows. Jake says goodbye to them as they exit and return to their ship in 1943, while he stays in his year of 2016. He travels back to Florida and relates his adventures to his grandfather, who is alive and well. Abe gives Jake a map of international time loops and money from different countries and urges him to seek out Emma.
After spending months searching and taking unexpected turns, Jake is finally reunited with her and the other children in 1943. Emma and Jake kiss. Along with the children, Miss Peregrine starts traveling with the Augusta.Eva Green as Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine, the strict but clever and caring Ymbryne headmistress of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children who can transform into a peregrine falcon and manipulate time.
Terence Stamp as Abraham "Abe" Portman, Jake's grandfather who can see the invisible Hollows.
Callum Wilson as a young Abe.
Judi Dench as Miss Esmeralda Avocet, the Ymbryne headmistress of Miss Avocet's Home for Peculiar Children who escapes to Miss Peregrine's after Mr. Barron's henchmen invade her time loop and kill her children. Like Miss Peregrine, Miss Avocet can manipulate time and can transform into an avocet.
Asa Butterfield as Jacob "Jake" Portman, a 16-year-old American teenager and Abe's grandson. He visits Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and is given by Miss Peregrine the task/promise of protecting the children. Like his grandfather, Jake has the ability to see the invisible Hollows.
Butterfield also portrays Mr. Barron's disguise as Jake.
Aiden Flowers as a 10-year-old Jake.
Nicholas Oteri as a 6-year-old Jake.
Ella Purnell as Emma Bloom, an aerokinetic teenager who can manipulate air and can breathe to create liquid bubbles under water. She is lighter than air and must always wear lead shoes or a tether to keep from floating away. Emma is also Abe's former love interest in the 1940s and Jake's current love interest.
Finlay MacMillan as Enoch O'Connor, a teenager who can resurrect the dead and bring to life inanimate objects as his living puppets for a limited time by placing a heart inside.
Lauren McCrostie as Olive Abroholos Elephanta, a pyrokinetic red-haired teenager and Enoch's love interest. She has to wear special black gloves in order to prevent burning everything she touches.
Cameron King as the voice and motion-capture of Millard Nullings, an invisible boy.
Pixie Davies as Bronwyn Bruntley, a super-strong young girl.
Georgia Pemberton as Fiona Frauenfeld, a young girl who can control and maintain plants including the vegetables in Miss Peregrine's garden.
Milo Parker as Hugh Apiston, a boy with bees living in his stomach.
Raffiella Chapman as Claire Densmore, a young girl with another mouth that has extra-sharp teeth hidden in the back of her head by her curly hair.
Hayden Keeler-Stone as Horace Somnusson, a stylish boy who can project his dreams (which are sometimes prophetic) through a monocle.
Joseph and Thomas Odwell as the Twins, two masked gorgon-like twin boys who turn people to stone upon lifting their special hoods.
Louis Davison as Victor Bruntley, Bronwyn's late older brother who shares her ability. He was killed by a Hollow infiltrator prior to the events in the film and was briefly brought back to life by Enoch.
Samuel L. Jackson as Mr. Barron, the shapeshifting leader of the Wights and Hollows who is exclusive to the film. Barron and his Wight and Hollow minions hunt Peculiars and devour their eyes upon capture to recover human form. His shapeshifting peculiarity allows him to disguise himself and also form blades, axes and/or lassos with his own hands.
Allison Janney as Dr. Nancy Golan, Jake's psychiatrist and one of Mr. Barron's disguised forms.
Rupert Everett as John Lamont (credited as "Ornithologist"), an ornithologist and another of Mr. Barron's disguised forms.
Scott Handy as Mr. Gleeson, a cryokinetic Wight.
Helen Day as Miss Edwards, a half-simian Wight with a great agility, dexterity and mobility.
Jack Brady as Mr. Clark, a Wight.
Philip Philmar as Mr. Archer, a Wight.
Robert Milton Wallace as Mr. Malfous, a Hollow.
Chris O'Dowd as Franklin "Frank" Portman, Jake's father and Abe's son.
Kim Dickens as Maryann Portman (credited as "Jake's Mom"), Jake's mother and an up-and-coming businesswoman.
O-Lan Jones as Shelly, Jake's drugstore supervisor and co-worker.
Jennifer Jarackas as Susie Portman, Frank's sister and Jake's aunt. She passes Jake her late father's gift which gives him the way to find Miss Peregrine's time loop.
George Vricos as Bobby, Judy's husband and Jake's uncle.
Brooke Jaye Taylor as Judy, Bobby's wife and Jake's other aunt.
Ioan Hefin as Kev, the bartender on Cairnholm in the present day.
Nicholas Amer as Oggie, a blind and elderly present-day resident of Cairnholm.
Shaun Thomas and Justin Davies as Dylan and Worm, two present-day teenage Welsh residents whom Jake meets in Cairnholm.
Director Tim Burton makes a cameo appearance in the film as a visitor at the fun fair in Blackpool who gets a skeleton thrown at him by a Hollow. Glen Mexted, who previously worked with Burton as an extra in both Dark Shadows and the music video for The Killers' "Here with Me", also appears in the same scene as a customer eating ice cream.
The film rights to the 2011 novel Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs were sold to 20th Century Fox on May 17, 2011. Chernin Entertainment also signed on to produce the film, with producers Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Jenno Topping. On November 15 the same year, Deadline.com reported that Tim Burton was in talks to direct the film, and it was also revealed that he would be involved with the studio in setting a writer to adapt the novel. On December 2, Jane Goldman was reportedly hired to adapt the story as a screenplay for the film, while Burton was not confirmed yet.
On July 28, 2014, Eva Green was set to play Miss Peregrine in the film; Mischa Barton, Lucy Hale and Alison Sudol were also considered. On September 24, 2014, it was announced that Asa Butterfield was being eyed for the second lead role as Burton's choice, but that at that time he had not yet been offered the role. On November 5, 2014, Ella Purnell was offered a role and was in final talks to join the film; it was also reported that Butterfield had been offered the male lead role, and was the favored choice. On February 6, 2015, Samuel L. Jackson was added to the cast to play Mr. Barron, while Butterfield was confirmed for the second lead role. Terence Stamp, Chris O'Dowd, Rupert Everett, Kim Dickens, and Judi Dench were announced as being in the cast on March 12, 2015.
Filming was initially set to begin in August 2014 in London. On February 17, 2015, Tampa Bay Times revealed that some parts of the film were being shot in Florida. Principal photography on the film began on February 24, 2015 in the Tampa Bay Area. Filming lasted for two weeks in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, in the Florida area. It is the second Tim Burton film to be shot in the Tampa Bay area, the first being Edward Scissorhands, in 1989. Production of the film later moved to Caerhays Castle and Minions in Cornwall, and Blackpool in the United Kingdom, and Brasschaat, a municipality close to Antwerp, Belgium.
The film's score was composed by Mike Higham and Matthew Margeson. The soundtrack was released on October 11, 2016 by La-La Land Records. Florence and the Machine recorded the film's end credits song, "Wish That You Were Here".
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was originally set for a release date of July 31, 2015. The release date moved to March 4, 2016, then again to December 25, 2016, before finally moving to September 30, 2016.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children grossed $87.2 million in the United States and Canada and $207.9 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $295.1 million, against a production budget of $110 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film opened alongside Deepwater Horizon and was projected to gross around $25 million from 3,522 theaters in its opening weekend. In total, the film earned $28.9 million during its opening weekend, finishing first at the box office. The opening was on par with Dark Shadows' $29.7 million in 2012, Burton's last big budgeted film. Variety called it "a mediocre start" given the film's $110 million budget.
It had number one openings in Russia ($6.3 million), France ($5.3 million), Mexico (3.8 million), Australia ($3.1 million), Brazil ($2.7 million) and the Philippines ($1.7 million) and the biggest opening for Burton in Malaysia and Indonesia. In South Korea, it debuted at number two with $5.2 million. The film was released in China and Italy in December 2016 and Japan in February 2017.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 64% based on 209 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children proves a suitable match for Tim Burton's distinctive style, even if it's on stronger footing as a visual experience than a narrative one." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 57 out of 100 based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
IGN critic Samatha Ladwig gave the film a 7.2/10, summarizing her review with: "Though there are lingering questions about certain characters by the time the end credits roll, the film's striking visuals help compensate for its unemotional and anti-climactic script." Justin Chang of Los Angeles Times wrote "Easily the director's finest work since his masterful 2007 screen adaptation of Sweeney Todd, and a striking reminder of what an unfettered gothic imagination can achieve with the right focus and an infusion of discipline." USA Today's Brian Truitt gave the film 3½ out of 4 and wrote, "After a long run of dystopian YA movies for teen crowds, Burton is just the right guy to make cinema weird again." Calvin Wilson of St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave the film 3½ out of 4 and stated, "Burton delivers his most ambitious and engaging film since Sweeney Todd (2007). Although the story becomes increasingly complex as it goes along, the emotional payoff is more than worth it."
Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post gave the film 3 out of 4 and wrote "The very idea of this - at once gruesome and darkly funny — is perfectly suited to Burton's sensibility, which also reveals itself in the casting of Butterfield, who has the quality of a young, slightly less freaky Johnny Depp." The Guardian's Jordan Hoffman gave the film 4 out of 5 and said, "We get the playfulness of seeing quirky magic powers mixed with the familiarity of how a time loop plays out. Add in Burton's authorial visual stamp and what we've got is an extremely pleasing formula. It gels as Tim Burton's best (non-musical) live-action movie for 20 years." James Berardinelli from ReelViews gave the film 3 out of 4 and stated, "Overall, despite feeling a little long and suffering from a rushed ending, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a fresh and engaging storybook adventure that should appeal to viewers both inside and out of the core demographic." The New York Times' Manohla Dargis gave a positive review, writing: "The story gets awfully busy — you may get lost in 1943 or perhaps closer to the present — but it scarcely matters. Mr. Burton's attention to detail and to the ebb and flow of tone (scary, funny, eerie), as well as his sensitive, gentle work particularly with the child actors, make each new turn another occasion for unfettered imagination." Devan Coggan from Entertainment Weekly gave the film "B-" (67/100), with describing the film "The film chooses style over substance, emphasizing how cool the children's powers are without fleshing them out as full characters. To compete with Burton's best, his heroic weirdos need a little more heart — and the monsters need sharper teeth."
On the other hand, Kyle Smith of the New York Post, Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times and Tom Huddleston of Time Out decried the film. According to Smith, who gave the film 2 stars out of 4: "It may be senseless, but it's sumptuous: the picture looks like it cost about a billion bucks, with absolutely every detail giving Burton an excuse to take his mad picture-book mind and let loose, the way Emma the girl full of air keeps soaring away from earthly constraints. Burton may give us a bland hero, a tepid love story and a muddled plot but, hey, at least he's got a skeleton army doing battle with giant tentacle monsters at an amusement park." Roeper, who scored the film 1½ stars out of 4, began his review by writing: "I'm wondering if the mutant kids at Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children ever play basketball against their rivals across the pond, Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. I'd watch that. I'd certainly rather watch that than Tim Burton's adaptation of the popular children's book about a school for freakishly gifted children. This is a messy, confusing, uninvolving mishmash of old-school practical effects and CGI battles that feels ... off nearly every misstep of the way. Tom Huddleston of Time Out gave the film 2 stars out of 5, writing: "Director Tim Burton likes his films busy: watch a classic like Beetlejuice or Batman, and you'll be pushed to find a single frame that isn't packed with background detail, weird creatures, ornate furnishings and intricate costumes. The problem with his new film, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, is that the script is every bit as busy and it can get pretty confusing."