Fantastic Beasts sequel charms with US$62 mllion debut
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald enchanted moviegoers with a debut of US$62 million (S$85 million).
While that is slightly lower than the start of 2016's Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them, the first instalment in the Harry Potter spin-off series, it was more than enough to dominate the weekend box office.
Warner Bros., the studio behind the wizarding series, sees Fantastic Beasts as more of an international play, where the follow-up has already earned US$191 million.
Stateside, Crimes of Grindelwald has battled the worst reviews yet for a Harry Potter entry. It currently holds a bleak 40 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ Cinemascore.
Theatres were able to entice more than just witches and wizards this weekend.
New offerings, along with a number of holdovers, were able to draw muggles and crack the top five as feel-good comedy Instant Family and heist drama Widows each opened relatively on par with expectations.
Paramount's Instant Family, starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne and loosely based on a true story of a married couple who adopt three young children, generated US$14.7m and earned a promising A CinemaScore, as well as a 79 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.
The audience was predominately female and over the age of 35. The studio is banking on a strong Thanksgiving showing to boost momentum and justify its US$48m price tag.
Twentieth Century Fox's Widows, directed by Steve McQueen, brought in a tepid US$12.5m despite rave reviews from critics.
Boasting en ensemble cast of Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo, the movie cost US$40m to make and follows a group of women who arrange a caper in order to pay back a crime boss after their criminal husbands are killed on a job gone wrong.
Second place went to The Grinch, which pocketed another US$38m to bring its domestic tally to US$126m.
Bohemian Rhapsody nabbed third place with US$15m. - REUTERS