Monday, November 19, 2018

Monday's Headlines - Weekend Box Office

"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" is looking at a decent domestic box office opening with $62 million from 4,163 locations. But with the lowest domestic opening in the history of Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter" franchise, "Fantastic Beasts" is looking more and more like a series that will rely on overseas interest for success.

The domestic start for "Grindelwald" is down 17 percent from the $74.4 million opening of the first "Fantastic Beasts," which had a much better reception with an A on CinemaScore and a 74 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. "Grindelwald," on the other hand, has left Potter fans less enthused with a B+ on CinemaScore and has had critics grumbling with a 40 percent RT score.

But overseas, "Grindelwald" has maintained the excitement for Newt Scamander and his friends. Released in 79 countries, the sequel has surpassed the first film in 43 markets; and with a international start of $191 million, overseas grosses are currently two percent ahead of the first "Fantastic Beasts." With a global start of $253 million, Warner Bros. has the start they need to show that there's enough interest in seeing this five-film Potter spinoff saga continue.

Perhaps one of the reasons why "Crimes of Grindelwald" is struggling domestically is because it is fighting for families' attention with "The Grinch," which has shown a strong second weekend as it only dropped 44 percent from its $67.5 million opening. With a $38 million weekend total, the Illumination/Universal animated film has a 10-day total of $126.5 million.

Sitting in third place this weekend and beating the other two new wide releases this weekend is Fox/New Regency's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which has added $15 million in its third weekend to push its total to $127 million. By comparison, that is a step higher than the $126.1 million that "A Star Is Born" grossed through three weekends.

In fourth is the Paramount comedy "Instant Family," which made a $14 million opening from 3,286 locations. But with a $48 million budget, this Mark Wahlberg comedy is going to need to have a long run through the holiday season. By comparison, "Daddy's Home 2," last year's Paramount comedy which also starred Wahlberg, opened to $29 million. The good news is that the film has positive word of mouth, with an A on CinemaScore and a 79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Completing the top five is Fox/New Regency's "Widows" with a $12.3 million opening from 2,803 screens. Like "Instant Family," Steve McQueen's thriller is going to need to leg out over the coming weeks, but could do so if older audiences show up for the film and if awards buzz continues to build around lead star Viola Davis. Critics hailed the film's unflinching, violent look at political corruption with a 91 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, but audiences were less enthusiastic with a B on CinemaScore.