Thanks to another trip to a certain Wizarding World, the November box office continued to impress in another fruitful weekend.
Opening in first is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (read our review). The Harry Potter spinoff earned $75 million in its first three days, which is a strong start. It received mostly positive reviews, and the prospect of returning to this magical universe was enough to get audiences hooked. Fantastic Beasts‘ debut is actually the lowest in the overall franchise, but since it did not have a built-in following like its predecessors (all based on bestselling books), that isn’t cause to be alarmed. So far, the global total is already $218 million, meaning the project has made back its entire $180 million production budget.
Still, Warner Bros. could feel slight concern from this performance. During the week, some projections had estimated about $90 million in the first three days domestically, meaning that Fantastic Beasts met the low end of expectations. Though the professional reviews were generally positive, not everyone was as enthusiastic about the film, feeling it was more concerned with setup for its forthcoming sequels than standing on its own. It will be interesting to see how the movie holds up over time, especially with Disney’s Moana right around the corner. Word-of-mouth is there, but Fantastic Beasts hasn’t seized the zeitgeist in the way the earlier works did.
In second is Doctor Strange with $17.6 million. With the arrival of Fantastic Beasts, the demand for Marvel’s latest was bound to go down. Still, the mind-bending superhero origin continues to demonstrate strong legs, given that it is a must-see experience on the big screen due to its visual style. To date, Doctor Strange has made $181.5 million Stateside.
The #3 film this week is Trolls, which brought in $17.5 million. DreamWorks Animation’s new hit raised its domestic total to $116.2 million.
Coming in fourth is Arrival. The sci-fi drama made $11.8 million in its second weekend, a 51 percent drop from its opening weekend. Denis Villeneuve’s awards contender is now up to $43.3 million domestically.
Rounding out the top five is Almost Christmas. The ensemble family comedy brought in $7 million to raise its U.S. total to $25.4 million.
In sixth is Hacksaw Ridge with $6.7 million. Mel Gibson’s well-received World War II drama has now grossed $42.8 million domestically.
Debuting as #7 is the new teen comedy The Edge of Seventeen (read our review) with $4.8 million. Though the film earned near-universal acclaim, it could not compete with the more high-profile newcomers and holdovers. Additionally, its target demographic of teenagers probably opted for Fantastic Beasts or Doctor Strange – two projects with widespread appeal. The good news for distributor STX is that Edge of Seventeen cost only $9 million to make, but it has an uphill climb to turn a profit. With interest this low at the start, it’s unlikely to turn things around and surge up the charts in the coming weeks.
Opening in eighth is Bleed for This, a new boxing drama starring Miles Teller and Aaron Ekhart. The film managed just $2.3 million in its first three days, unable to emerge as a viable counter-programming option after receiving decent reviews. Like Edge of Seventeen, this smaller work will most likely fall off shortly, as there are bigger films on the horizon.
The Accountant comes in ninth with $2.1 million. The Ben Affleck-led crime drama is now up to $81.2 million domestically, which is by far a career high for director Gavin O’Connor.
Capping off the top ten is Shut In. The thriller made $1.6 million in its second weekend to raise its domestic total to $6 million.
Outside the Top 10: Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (read our review) went wide on Friday and was a massive flop. The war drama could only muster a lowly $930,000 over the weekend, which is a disaster for Sony. The film was subject to mixed reviews, but few could have expected this kind of turnout. To date, the movie has made $1 million for its entire run, as it opened in select cities on November 11.
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates — based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, November 21 — at which time we’ll update this post with any changes.]