The big question going into the weekend was not if Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would win the box office, but how much would it bring in? Earlier estimates suggested Beasts could climb as high as $90 million, which would place it right in the middle of the pack of Harry Potter film debuts.
Ultimately, Fantastic Beasts managed $75 million, a superb opening, but lower than any of the Harry Potter films. That’s not a knock on Beasts’ performance, but another indicator of the cultural phenomenon that was the Potter franchise.
Beasts should continue to perform well over the Thanksgiving weekend. Audiences will need a break from Black Friday shopping and turkey leftovers at some point. Beasts is already dominating on the global front bringing in $143 million.
2. Doctor Strange – $17.6 million [3rd week; $181.5 million total] Don’t buy into the notion that audiences are experiencing superhero movie fatigue. Doctor Strange is Marvel Studios’ 14th film and at this point, it’s only trailing Iron Man as the highest grossing kickoff film for a solo character. Overall, Strange is the 10th highest grossing film and should easily surpass Thor: The Dark World ($206 million) for the No. 9 spot. Catching Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($259 million) might be a bit more challenging especially since Star Wars: A Rogue One excitement is building.
3. Trolls – $17.5 million [3rd week; $116 million] 2oth Century Fox’s latest animated effort also had a solid retention despite the slate of newcomers this weekend. Of all the holdover films that should see a strong Thanksgiving weekend boost, Trolls seems a decent bet assuming Moana doesn’t siphon off too much of its audience.
4. Arrival – $11.8 million [2nd week; $43.3 million] Audiences are slowly finding Arrival a solid box office destination spot. Its 50 percent drop from opening weekend wasn’t too bad. Assuming Amy Adams starts bringing in award nominations for her performance, the film is poised to retain a respectable box office presence. The film is just $4 million shy of its budget, which is great news for distributor Paramount.
5. Almost Christmas – $7 million [2nd week; $25.4 million] The longer this Christmas theme film can remain in theaters as Christmas approaches the better it will be for its box office tally. Making it to the final week of December would be a Christmas miracle, but it would certainly benefit from the Christmas weekend. Already, the ensemble comedy has made back its $17 million budget proving once again black audiences will support quality films directly catered toward them.
Newcomers Bleed for This and Edge of Seventeen failed to crack the Top 5, which is somewhat surprising especially for Edge, which has received a ton of critical acclaim.