“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” enchanted moviegoers with a debut of $62 million.
While The Crimes Of Grindelwald failed to beat the numbers set by it’s first installment “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” at 62 million dollars, it was enough to dominate the weekend box office.
Since it’s opening, reviews have been pouring in and these don’t look too good for a movie that is strongly related to the amazing Harry Potter. The movie currently holds a bleak 40% on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ Cinemascore. Warner Bros. the studio behind the movie franchise is counting on global box office revenues to make up for a potentially lackluster domestic performance and carry the film, which cost $200 million to produce.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is the second installment in the new Warner Bros. five-film franchise and is part of the studio’s ongoing effort to wring more riches from the wizarding world popularized by author J.K. Rowling. The movie was directed by David Yates, who also happens to be have been involved in several of the “Harry Potter” movies. The sequel stars Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Ezra Miller, and Zoe Kravitz. A bit of controversy sparked when it was revealed that Johnny Depp would play the role of the villain, we are already very used to seeing the beloved Johnny as the good guy so it was met with skepticism. However Johnny once again proved his knack for great acting as he embodied the role of Gellert Grindelwald 100. Much like the first film in the prequel series, the audience for “Crimes of Grindelwald” skewed older with 69% of moviegoers over the age of 25.
Warner Bros.’ president of worldwide distribution Ron Sanders anticipates seeing a stronger showing from family crowds during Thanksgiving.
“We’re extremely pleased with the opening weekend and think it will play well over the holidays,” Sander said. “Clearly the brilliance of what [Rowling] created is something fans continue to embrace.”
The weekend welcomed than just witches, wizards and muggles as other offerings, along with a number of holdovers, were able to draw audiences with comedy “Instant Family” and heist drama “Widows” each opened relatively on par with expectations.
Second place on the box office earnings list went to Universal’s “The Grinch,” which pocketed another $38 million to bring its domestic tally to $126 million. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Fox’s Freddie Mercury biopic, also saw a strong outing in its third weekend and nabbed third place with $15 million. That takes its North American total to $127 million.
Also, Universal Studios got a head start on “Green Book” as the movie bagged up $313,000 from 25 venues for a per-screen average of $12,520. Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali co-star in the comedic drama, which is expected to expand nationwide on Nov. 21. It won the people’s choice award at the Toronto Film Festival and has since generated an A+ Cinemascore and 83% Rotten Tomatoes average.
“Green Book” is directed by Peter Farrelly and co-produced by Participant and DreamWorks. The movie follows the life of a bouncer who takes a job chauffeuring a famed black pianist in the segregation era.
In other news, CBS Films’ “At Eternity’s Gate” secured the best theater average of the week with $23,000 per venue for a weekend haul of $92,000 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Willem Dafoe has earned raves for his portrayal of Vincent van Gogh in the drama, which will continue its expansion in weeks to come.
As for the overall financial records the weekend ticket sales were down 14.5% from last year, when “Justice League” lead the charge in the box office with a $93 million launch in 2017. Overall, year-to-year revenues remain up 10%, according to Comscore, positioning 2018 for a record season.
“Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest moviegoing periods of any given year, and this coming week will provide a cinematic feast of holiday blockbusters and awards season contenders,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Comscore. “It’s going to be as crowded as the chow line on Thanksgiving at the multiplex this weekend.”