Beasts Find the Fantastic for Warner Bros.
By John Hamann
November 20, 2016
Warner Bros. will have to be happy with an opening weekend tally of $75 million, a solid amount, but likely at the lower end of what they were looking for. An opening-to-total multiplier of 3.5 would give it about $260 million on the domestic side, which would mean it would need at least $350 million overseas, but that number is likely much higher.
It has what it needs to be successful. Reviews were solid, but not of the spectacular variety. At Rotten Tomatoes, Fantastic Beasts has a RottenTomatoes score of 76%, with 154 positive reviews and 48 rotten. That’s two points lower than any of the Potter films, as Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Order of the Phoenix (both directed by Fantastic Beasts director David Yates) came in at 78% fresh. The Cinemascore came in at an A, which is in line with the Harry Potter averages. The Potter films have scored one A plus, several As and a couple of A minuses.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also had a massive debut overseas this weekend. It was number one with a rocket in the UK, pulling in $30 million overseas in its first day alone. It took in $143.3 million overseas over its first weekend, and doesn’t open in China until next weekend. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, Fantastic Beasts should hold well in North America during its next frame, and with the addition of the Chinese market, should hold overseas as well. Other than Moana, Fantastic Beasts doesn’t have real blockbuster competition until Rogue One opens on December 16th – and it should still be a top ten film by the time the holidays roll around.
Finishing way back in second is Doctor Strange, as all holdovers face a double-whammy, what with Fantastic Beasts sucking the air out of the box office and last weekend’s Veterans Day Friday propping up last weekend, leading to big drop-offs. Doctor Strange fell 68% Friday-to-Friday, earning only $4.8 million on Friday, compared to $14.9 million on Veterans Day Friday. Over the weekend, Doctor Strange earned $17.7 million, off 59% compared to the previous weekend. It means that this Marvel property will take more than two weekends to hit $200 million and is running similar to Thor: The Dark World. Like Doctor Strange, Thor 2 saw a bigger drop in weekend three than weekend two and finished with $206.4 million. I am still expecting more from Doctor Strange, as it has a total to date of $181.5 million. Overseas, the $165 million film has earned $390 million.
Third is Trolls, which has closed the gap on Doctor Strange quite quickly. After finishing second last weekend by about $8 million, the toy-themed film trims the lead to only $176,000 this weekend. Trolls earned another $17.5 million and sees a hefty drop of 50%. The $125 million DreamWorks release now has a domestic total of $116.2 million and the overseas total is $145 million.
Arrival, the one-weekend-old Amy Adams flick, finishes in fourth place. After opening last weekend to $24.1 million, Arrival gets turned on its head just like everything else this weekend. The earth-based sci-fi flick picked up $11.8 million in weekend two, dropping 51%. The very well-reviewed flick (93% fresh) now has a domestic tally of $43.4 million against a budget of $47 million. It’s just getting started overseas, with a gross-to-date just under $11 million.