As expected, the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ruled the box office for its opening weekend, pulling in $75 million to become the No. 1 film November 18-20 in the US.
The numbers come from Deadline, which also reports that $75 million represents a new domestic career high box office take for Fantastic Beasts stars Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, and Jon Voight. It’s the fifth highest opening for director David Yates.
For comparison, the newest Harry Potter movie, 2011’s Deathly Hallows Part 2, made $169.1 million in the US during its opening weekend. Fantastic Beasts was never projected to make anywhere near that much; its $75 million opening, which is in line with projections, is lower than any Harry Potter movie.
Not everyone in Hollywood thinks $75 million is a very strong opening for a movie that had a production budget of $180 million or more and a reported marketing spend of $150 million.
“They can’t be happy about this internally,” a rival distribution chief told Deadline about Warner Bros. This person suggested that $90 million or more would have been a “proper start.”
Another non-WB executive told Deadline about Fantastic Beasts’ opening, “It’s solid, but we can’t make any hasty generalizations yet and pronounce it dead. We need to give this one three weeks and see how international fares.”
Worldwide, Fantastic Beasts has made more than $218 million after Week 1. Fantastic Beasts could benefit in Week 2 this weekend as the Thanksgiving holiday is this Thursday in the US.
Go to Deadline to see a full box office recap and analysis for this past weekend.
Top 10 Movies at the US Box Office (November 18-2)
- Fantastic Beasts — $75 million (week 1)
- Doctor Strange — $17.67 million (week 3)
- Trolls — $17.5 million (week 3)
- Arrival — $11.8 million (week two)
- Almost Christmas — $7 million (week 2)
- Hacksaw Ridge — $6.75 million (week 3)
- The Edge of Seventeen — $4.8 million (week 1)
- Bleed For This — $2.36 million (week 1)
- The Accountant — $2.1 million (week six)
- Shut In — $1.6 million (week 2)