Box Office: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Obliterates Competition

(NOVEMBER 18 – NOVEMBER 20, 2016 estimates)

  1. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (Opening) – $75,000,000
  2. “Doctor Strange” (Week 3) – $17,676,000
  3. “Trolls” (Week 3) – $17,500,000
  4. “Arrival” (Week 2) – $11,800,000
  5. “Almost Christmas” (Week 2) – $7,040,000
  6. “Hacksaw Ridge” (Week 3) – $6,750,000
  7. “The Edge of Seventeen” (Opening) – $4,825,000
  8. “Bleed for This” (Opening) – $2,357,946
  9. “The Accountant” (Week 6) – $2,115,000
  10. “Shut In” (Week 2) – $1,600,000

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  • fantasticbeastsThere is still some magic left in the Harry Potter franchise. The first entry in a proposed five movie spin off, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” had a strong opening weekend of $75 million. This is below all eight openings for the Harry Potter films. However, that is an unfair bar to compare the film to. In many ways, this functions essentially as the first entry in a new series. In terms of opening, this fares better than the opening to YA sensation “Twilight,” which opened to $69 million in 2008. The worldwide opening for the film has been particularly robust. The film has summoned $218 million so far. The film should use its strong reviews to last throughout the upcoming holiday season, where it can make a killing.
  • “Beasts” demolished all other films in its path. Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” saw a particularly hefty drop of 58 percent in its third weekend in theaters. This brought the film’s total box office to $181 million domestic and $571 million worldwide. Despite an exceptionally strong opening weekend, the film has been sinking the past couple weekends amid competition. Still, the film was able to rocket past its $165 million production budget on domestic grosses alone. In terms of character starts for a MCU film, “Doctor Strange” is behind only “Iron Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” While it won’t rise to the billion dollar club, it is another hit for Marvel.
  • After a fantastic second week hold, “Trolls” also fell victim to the spell of the “Harry Potter” universe. The animated film saw half of its audience disappear in its third weekend. Still, this brought the film’s total domestic box office to $116 million and worldwide box office to $261 million. After three weeks, the film is only inches away from passing the domestic gross of last year’s animated hit “The Peanuts Movie.” It has already surpassed that film worldwide. While its legs shouldn’t carry it through the holidays – “Moana” is likely to take those honors – the film has already had a successful run.
  • Despite glowing reviews and a healthy dose of conversations started, “Arrival” was unable to find its legs. The film lost 51 percent of its business in its second weekend. Still, the domestic total of the film stands at $43 million. While this isn’t the standard number for an alien invasion flick, it is great for an introspective drama looking for awards prospects. Plus, with a $47 million budget, the film is just around the corner from breaking even.
  • The Christmas film “Almost Christmas” experienced a hearty drop in its second weekend. The film slid 53 percent in its second weekend. While this film’s $25 million total to date isn’t astounding, it is positive compared to the film’s $17 million budget. The total for the film shouldn’t come close to other Christmas fare, such as “This Christmas” or “The Best Man Holiday.” A total closer to $40 million is more in line.
  • It turns out Mel Gibson can hold his own against “Fantastic Beasts.” His new film “Hacksaw Ridge” experienced the smallest week-over-week drop in the top 10. With only a 36 percent drop, the film brought its domestic total to $42 million. This continued solid performance could push the film close to $60 million. It already has a clear shot at passing the $50 million total for his last film, “Apocalypto.”
  • The new teen comedy, “The Edge of Seventeen,” failed to draw moviegoers in, even with its positive reviews. The film flopped with a $4 million opening. Among teen films, this falls below the opening for the once promising Sundance hit “Dope.” It falls more in line with poorly reviewed entries such as Disney’s “Prom” and “I Love You Beth Cooper.” The chances of it reaching near the mid-teens at the domestic box office are slim to none.
  • If “The Edge of Seventeen” opening was bad, the opening for Miles Teller’s boxing drama “Bleed for This” was embarrassing. Despite going wide in 1,549 theaters, the film only managed to scrape together a $2.3 million opening. This gives the film a pitiful $1,522 per-theater average. This is only slightly above the opening for “Hands of Stone” earlier this year, which opened in half as many theaters. Like that failed sports movie, this should come and go within the next two weeks. It will be tough to pass $5 million domestic.
  • After exhibiting strong legs over the past five weeks, Ben Affleck’s “The Accountant” took a stumble in what will probably be the film’s final week in the top 10. The film lost 52 precent of its business, bringing its domestic total to $81 million. This makes this film the top performer of a particularly lackluster October. Worldwide, the film has grossed a strong $138 million.
  • The poorly reviewed Naomi Watts film “Shut In” sank after a disappointing opening. The film dropped 55 percent in its second weekend. The film’s paltry total stands at $6 million. It shouldn’t even have enough stamina to make it to $10 million.

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  • Moonlight” finally expanded to semi-wide release, with more mixed results. The film added 474 theaters to its mix for a total of 650 theaters. From here, it was able to gross $1.5 million over the weekend. That’s good enough for a per-theater average of $2,436. This is below the per-theater average for fellow indie hits “Hell or High Water” and “Eye in the Sky.” However, they both saw per-theater averages of roughly $3,000, so it’s not too far off. After weeks of exceptional performance, this misstep could be attributed to opening against “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” However, it will need to rely on Oscar buzz to keep the film alive throughout the rest of the year. Yet, at the end of the day, the film’s $6.7 million domestic total is strong for a low budget independent release.
  • The biggest failure of the week belonged to Ang Lee’s much maligned “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.” The technologically advanced drama hoped to lure in curious moviegoers as it expanded wide to 1,176 theaters. Unfortunately, it couldn’t even pass $1 million over the weekend. The film grossed $930,000 this weekend for a dire per-theater average of $791. Its current domestic total stands at $1 million. This is far beyond the film’s $40 million budget.
  • Jeff Nichols’ “Loving” continued its successful limited run this weekend. After adding 91 theaters, for a total of 137 theaters, the film grossed $854,000 over the weekend. This was good enough for a solid $6,234 per-theater average. The film needs to capitalize on the positive buzz soon in order to have a successful wide launch. Currently, the film’s domestic total stands at $1.7 million.
  • Tom Ford opened his first film in seven years: “Nocturnal Animals” to 37 theaters. The polarizing film saw a more muted, solid opening weekend. Grossing $494,000, the film had a per-theater average of $13,351. It will be interesting to see if the film is able to translate to a wider audience. This per-theater average is below Ford’s first film “A Single Man,” which went on to gross $9 million. That number seems further out of reach.
  • manchester-by-the-sea-movie-november-2016The big winner of the specialty releases this week was Oscar hopeful “Manchester by the Sea.” Kenneth Lonergan’s latest achieved the top per-theater average of the weekend. It opened to $241,000 from four theaters for a per-theater average of $60,308. This is the fourth strongest per-theater average opening of the year, behind “Moonlight,” “Don’t Think Twice” and “Cafe Society.” As buzz builds for the film, it should be able to capitalize on this opening for a strong domestic total.

What did you see this weekend? Share in the comments.