Studio Weekend Estimates: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Magical w/ $75.0M; ‘Edge of Seventeen’ ($4.8M) & ‘Bleed For This’ ($2.3M) Weak; ‘Doctor Strange’ ($17.6M) & ‘Trolls’ ($17.5M) Still Strong

Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them cast a spell on the box office this weekend, as the fantasy starring Eddie Redmayne debuted in first place with an estimated $75.0 million. Fantastic Beasts earned an “A” CinemaScore from an audience that was 55 percent female and only 35 percent under age 25, a figure skewing more adult than the more youth-and-teenage-targeted Potter films since the new spinoff contained almost entirely adult characters. It also earned an estimated $8.025 million through IMAX screenings.

It wasn’t entirely positive news, however. The real question heading into this weekend was whether the J.K. Rowling-penned Harry Potter spinoff would earn about the same as the eight “in sequence” Potter films, but it appears to have opened with substantially less. Adjusting for inflation, the lowest Potter opening was the sixth film, 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, with $77.8 million or about $89.8 million adjusted for inflation — and that was after opening on a Wednesday, thus deflating its opening Friday-to-Sunday weekend total. And even that film sold about 20 percent more tickets than Fantastic Beasts.

Fantastic Beasts started with an estimated $29.70 million on Friday (including $8.75 million from Thursday night previews), decreased an estimated 11.5 percent on Saturday to $26.275 million, and is projected to fall 27.5 percent on Sunday to $19.025 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.52 to 1 and its per-theater average at $18,098, a good figure though less than the inflation-adjusted averages for any of the eight Potter films.

Disney’s superhero film Doctor Strange and Fox / DreamWorks’ animated Trolls were locked in a tight race for second place as of the Sunday studio weekend estimates. Doctor had a slight edge as of Sunday afternoon with an estimated $17.67 million to $17.50 million for Trolls, but that margin was close enough that the two movies might switch places when Monday weekend actuals are revealed. Doctor Strange, the box office leader for the previous two weekends, was knocked off its perch with a 58.9 percent drop, notably more than its mild (for a superhero movie) estimated 49.5 percent drop from its first to its second weekend. Trolls experienced a smaller estimated 50.0 percent decline.

The three non-Fantastic wide debuts this week were all just that: not fantastic. Although to be fair, all three of them opened in less than half as many theaters nationwide as the very wide release for Fantastic Beastswhich opened in the seventh-most theaters of any film this year.

STX Entertainment’s teen comedy The Edge of Seventeen started in seventh place with $4.825 million, but with a $9 million production budget, this Hailee Steinfeld-led title might still be able to turn a profit in the end. The film’s audience was 70 percent female and 75 percent between the ages of 17 and 34. The movie started with an estimated $1.70 million on Friday (including $220 thousand from Thursday night previews), improved 9.4 percent on Saturday to an estimated $1.86 million, and is projected to decline 31.9 percent on Sunday to $1.265 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.83 to 1 and its per-theater average at $2,481.

Open Road Films’ boxing drama Bleed For This couldn’t punch its way to the top with an estimated $2.35 million eighth place opening. The real-life story starring Miles Teller started with an estimated $895 thousand on Friday, declined a negligible 1.0 percent on Saturday to an estimated $886 thousand, and is projected to decline 35.0 percent on Sunday to $576 thousand. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.63 to 1 and its per-theater average at a disappointing $1,522.

Sony and TriStar’s military drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk had to take a knee with an estimated $930 thousand weekend in its wide expansion. The Oscar contender debuted with an impressive if not jaw-dropping debut in limited release last weekend, but that didn’t seem to help it any during its nationwide expansion, as the film starts in an estimated 14th place. The movie began with an estimated $350 thousand on Friday, declined an estimated 5.1 percent on Saturday to $332 thousand, and is projected to drop 25.3 percent on Sunday to $248 thousand. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.65 to 1 and a per-theater average of a terrible $791.

Paramount’s science fiction drama Arrival dropped 51.0 percent to take fourth place with an estimated $11.80 million, while Universal’s holiday comedy Almost Christmas rounded out the top five with a 53.5 percent drop to an estimated $7.04 million.

The top 10 films this weekend made an estimated $146.66 million total. That’s virtually identical (about half a percentage point higher) than the $145.89 million earned by the top 10 films last weekend. It’s also 10.1 percent below the $163.25 million earned by the top 10 films last weekend, when The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 debuted on top with $102.66 million.

Limited Releases:

A24’s awards contender Moonlight keeps performing better and better, as it more than tripled its theater count en route to an estimated $1.58 million weekend. It’s earned progressively more in each of its five weekends to date, for an estimated $6.73 million total so far — and that’s before most people in America have even heard of it.

Focus Features’ awards contender Loving made an estimated $854 thousand, after increasing its theater count. Focus’ fellow release Nocturnal Animals opened with an estimated $494 thousand, for a $13,351 per-theater average.

And Roadside Attractions’ Manchester by the Sea, currently ranking second place in the odds for Best Picture according to GoldDerby.com, debuted to an estimated $241 thousand in only four theaters in New York City and Los Angeles. Its $60,308 per-theater average is the fourth-highest in that metric for any film this year, although not as high as the debut for the aforementioned Moonlight.

Overseas Update:

It was all about Fantastic Beasts this weekend, from the domestic to the international, as the film debuted with an estimated $143.3 million overseas opening weekend in 63 markets. That’s one of the best overseas debuts of the year and serves to reinforce just how popular the Harry Potter franchise is in every country on the globe, becoming the highest-grossing debut of the year in the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium. Notable grosses included $18.3 million in the United Kingdom, $14.1 million in South Korea, $9.9 million in Germany, $9.8 million in Russia, and $9.7 million in France. The film has now earned a $218.3 million global total through its opening weekend.

Although dwarfed by Fantastic Beasts this weekend, Doctor Strange managed to hold on nicely with an estimated $26.0 million overseas weekend, down 56.8 percent, in 53 markets. The film has been doing excellent business overseas with a $390.0 million overseas total and $571.5 million global total, perhaps even potentially contending for the vaunted billion-dollar mark. Notable totals include $103.2 million in China, $39.6 million in South Korea, $26.4 million in the United Kingdom, $21.4 million in Russia, and $19.3 million in Brazil.

Studio Weekend Estimates for Friday, November 18 – Sunday, November 20, 2016:

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them $75,000,000 4,144 $18,098 $75,000,000 1 Warner Bros.
2 Doctor Strange $17,676,000 -59% 3,694 -188 $4,785 $181,542,877 3 Disney
3 Trolls $17,500,000 -50% 3,945 -121 $4,436 $116,214,533 3 Fox / DreamWorks Animation
4 Arrival $11,800,000 -51% 2,335 18 $5,054 $43,370,799 2 Paramount
5 Almost Christmas $7,040,000 -53% 2,379 3 $2,959 $25,420,740 2 Universal
6 Hacksaw Ridge $6,750,000 -37% 2,883 -88 $2,341 $42,854,292 3 Lionsgate
7 The Edge of Seventeen $4,825,000 1,945 $2,481 $4,825,000 1 STX Entertainment
8 Bleed for This $2,357,946 1,549 $1,522 $2,357,946 1 Open Road
9 The Accountant $2,115,000 -52% 1,423 -919 $1,486 $81,252,018 6 Warner Bros.
10 Shut In $1,600,000 -56% 2,006 -52 $798 $6,036,645 2 EuropaCorp Films
11 Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween $1,175,000 -67% 1,171 -933 $1,003 $72,167,821 5 Lionsgate
12 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back $1,000,000 -70% 1,110 -1474 $901 $56,669,185 5 Paramount
13 Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk $930,000 715% 1,176 1174 $791 $1,086,611 2 Sony / TriStar

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Moonlight (2016) $1,583,433 25% 650 474 $2,436 $6,739,483 5 A24
2 Loving $854,000 67% 137 91 $6,234 $1,737,088 3 Focus
3 Inferno $640,000 -80% 770 -1886 $831 $33,373,473 4 Sony / Columbia
4 The Girl on the Train (2016) $576,000 -65% 492 -516 $1,171 $74,457,105 7 Universal
5 Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children $400,000 -67% 464 -491 $862 $85,787,641 8 Fox
6 Ouija: Origin of Evil $295,000 -83% 381 -1157 $774 $34,896,030 5 Universal
7 A Man Called Ove $222,568 -39% 157 -36 $1,418 $2,789,806 8 Music Box Films
8 Keeping Up with the Joneses $175,000 -69% 216 -294 $810 $14,620,292 5 Fox
9 Deepwater Horizon $150,000 -62% 201 -189 $746 $60,851,661 8 Lionsgate / Summit
10 Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life $135,000 -50% 207 -19 $652 $19,743,173 7 CBS Films / Lionsgate
11 Pete’s Dragon (2016) $126,000 -38% 162 -17 $778 $75,960,505 15 Disney
12 Finding Dory $87,000 -42% 121 -19 $719 $486,200,416 23 Disney
13 The Take $39,000 100 $390 $39,000 1 High Top Releasing

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Nocturnal Animals $494,000 37 $13,351 $494,000 1 Focus
2 Manchester By the Sea $241,230 4 $60,308 $241,230 1 Roadside / Amazon
3 I Am Not Madame Bovary $202,500 38 $5,329 $202,500 1 Well Go USA Entertainment
4 The Eagle Huntress $195,649 2% 39 8 $5,017 $555,690 3 Sony Pictures Classics
5 Elle (2016) $128,701 153% 24 22 $5,363 $214,787 2 Sony Pictures Classics
6 Ae Dil Hai Mushkil $70,000 -73% 53 -110 $1,321 $4,237,353 4 FIP
7 Denial $67,894 -56% 84 -37 $808 $3,975,079 8 Bleeker Street
8 Queen of Katwe $65,000 -42% 81 -37 $802 $8,713,498 9 Disney
9 A Street Cat Named Bob $35,070 25 $1,403 $35,070 1 Cleopatra Films
10 Certain Women $34,020 -69% 63 -57 $540 $1,011,020 6
11 The Love Witch $28,500 22 $1,295 $55,162 2 Oscilloscope Pictures
12 Harry & Snowman $25,000 -22% 24 9 $1,042 $470,877 8 FilmRise
13 Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened $22,573 2 $11,287 $22,573 1 Abramorama
14 Christine (2016) $20,020 -39% 45 -12 $445 $250,046 6 The Orchard
15 I’m Not Ashamed $12,000 -75% 22 -63 $545 $2,074,473 5 Pure Flix
16 Daughters of the Dust (2016 re-release) $10,842 1 $10,842 $10,842 1 Cohen Media Group
17 American Pastoral $8,000 -82% 20 -39 $400 $533,970 5 Lionsgate
18 The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years $7,776 -61% 11 -10 $707 $2,857,405 10 Abramorama
19 Disturbing The Peace $4,298 -61% 2 0 $2,149 $20,653 2 Abramorama
20 Blood on the Mountain $3,443 2 $1,722 $3,443 1 Abramorama
21 National Bird $3,000 -1% 8 7 $375 $7,094 2 FilmRise
22 Magnus $1,000 1 $1,000 $1,000 1 FilmRise
23 Greater $776 -79% 2 -1 $388 $1,986,628 13 Hammond Entertainment

 

Jesse Rifkin

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