We head into the pre-Thankgiving weekend with a sequel to the film that won this weekend two years ago, a spinoff of one of the most successful book to movie franchises of all time.
by Tim Briody
November 18, 2018
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald easily takes the weekend with $62.2 million, which is good in and of itself, but a little bit problematic. The sequel to 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which opened with $74.4 million and finished with $234 million domestically (and $800 million worldwide), it was the first expansion of the Wizarding World franchise, started by the Harry Potter books and movies. The movie was scripted by Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has since said that there are five planned films in this franchise.
While a third is already planned for 2020, I think five films might be wishful thinking right now, as the diminishing returns have already set in. With the 16% drop in opening weekend from first film to second film, plus below average reviews (40% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes), this franchise is rapidly becoming for the absolute Potter diehards only. Granted, that's still a fairly significant number of people for it to open to $62 million, but I think they are pushing their luck by continuing the franchise. Or perhaps not, considering how successful Fantastic Beasts was overseas. If The Crimes of Grindelwald can duplicate that feat, then they certainly have a reason to keep making them.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them managed a respectable 39% hold over Thanksgiving weekend, so that's what we're going to look next week to determine where The Crimes of Grindelwald will land.
The Grinch slides to second place with a 44% decline to $38.1 million and $126.5 million after two weekends. That's just fine, and it's set up pretty nicely to have a good Thanksgiving weekend and then it just needs to hang on another week or two for the holiday box office boost to really kick in. The reported price tag for The Grinch was $75 million, so it's going to be a very merry Christmas at Universal.
Bohemian Rhapsody continues to roll along with $15.7 million (down 50%) in its third weekend, and $127.8 million to date. It also only cost $55 million to make, so Fox is very happy with this performance, especially since it's approaching $400 million worldwide. (The movie also sent the titular song back into the top 40 on the US singles chart.)
Instant Family is another opener this weekend, starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne in a family comedy. It's kind of like Daddy's Home without Will Ferrell. And the box office shows it too, with just a $14.7 million weekend, which is mainly due to Wahlberg's star power. If we're gonna compare it to the Daddy's Home movies (which makes sense to do since they were family comedies starring Wahlberg released around this time, and also share a writer and director), it's a big whiff, as even last year's Daddy's Home 2 opened with $29.6 million. It did only cost $48 million to make, but it's got a tough road ahead of it as it's very likely about to get lost in the shuffle among the Thanksgiving weekend releases.
The new release with the most impressive cast and best reviews of the weekend is in fifth place as Widows earns $12.3 million. Directed by Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), the heist film starred Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Debicki, as well as Liam Neeson and Jon Bernthal, Widows scored 91% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. There were some hopes for a breakout, but it never materialized. It's likely about to suffer the same fate as Instant Family, as it will shoved out of the way by a deluge of Thanksgiving releases and forgotten in a few weeks.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms continues to flop, earning just $4.6 million in its third weekend and has just $43.8 million to date. It lost a bunch of screens this weekend and is a prime candidate to do so next weekend as well. The first Christmas movie of the year didn't even make it to Thanksgiving. Ouch.
A Star Is Born creeps closer to $200 million, with $4.3 million in its seventh weekend (now the oldest film in the top ten) and $185.8 million to date.
Overlord tumbles 62% from its opening weekend to $3.8 million and $17.7 million in two weeks. The mashup of war movie and horror movie just didn't really work for audiences, despite the decent reviews.
The Girl in the Spider's Web also crashes and burns with $2.5 million (down 68%) in its second weekend and $13.2 million total. This puts an end to any more American adaptations of this book series, for sure.
Tyler Perry's Nobody's Fool by Tyler Perry (a Tyler Perry film) wraps up the top ten with $2.2 million in its third weekend and $28.8 million to date.
The top 12 films this weekend racked up $164.3 million of box office, down from last year's $193.9 million when Justice League opened with $93.8 million.
It's Thanksgiving next weekend and set to blow everyone's doors off is the Wreck-It Ralph sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, along with Creed II (which seems to have significantly less buzz than the last one), as well as the drama Green Book and the most likely turkey of the week candidate in Robin Hood.