Box Office Wrap Up: Fantastic Earnings and Where to Find Them?
J.K. Rowling had another fine opening weekend, though Fantastic Beasts failed to live up to Potter’s legacy.
Despite mid-November being a bonanza for films based on young adult literature, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them led a tepid weekend. Going back to 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 11 of the top earning movies for this period have been adaptations from YA books, including The Hunger Games series, Twilight, and many of the Harry Potter films. Perhaps due to lesser name recognition, or the gradual fade that genre has experiences since it’s heyday, the overall box office was down slightly from last year and down a sizable chunk since Mockingjay or Breaking Dawn tore up the box office.
*Editor’s Mea Culpa: the previous version of this post claimed no wide releases were due up this week. That was an error caused by all of the wide releases having their timetables bumped up to Wednesday instead of the usual Friday. There are in fact 4 wide releases this week. So, those movies below that did poorly last week are pretty much screwed.*
Earning 74 million dollars, the latest adaptation from J.K. Rowling managed to take first place, but was the weakest opening for a film based on her work. Harry Potter certainly had a larger installed fan base, even in the early going, but the more adult nature of this film may have contributed. No bespectacled mop-top to endear himself with fans this go around, just a very angry Colin Farrell. Fantastic Beasts may have fallen short of re-igniting the genre, but it certainly had the best chunk of a pretty lean weekend.
Second place went to Marvel’s Doctor Strange, who managed 17 million, falling a pretty hefty 59% from last week. Strange has been a bit of laggard in the long stretch; perhaps the “wow” factor of the 3D inflated the early numbers.
The third spot went to another familiar face, as Trolls just barely fell short of passing Doctor Strange.
The rest of the top ten was on equally wobbly legs. Arrival fell 50% for a fourth place landing in its second week. With 12 million, it is the only other film in the top ten to gross more than 10 million dollars.
Besides Fantastic Beasts, two other films made wide releases: The Edge of Seventeen got shunned into seventh place, and Bleed for This took in on the chin for an eighth place finish. While their totals were paltry, both films have very modest budgets and may benefit from the long holiday weekend.
Despite having a decent limited release, Ang Lee’s war drama, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, suffered in wider release. It made less than 1 million dollars playing at 1000+ theaters. That is not great math.