Box office: Fantastic Beasts underperforms Harry Potter in North America but outperforms it elsewhere

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J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world came roaring back to the big screen this week.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first in a series of prequels that take place several decades before Harry Potter is born, earned an estimated $75 million in the U.S. and Canada between Thursday and Sunday nights. That’s the least that any Harry Potter film has made in its first weekend in North America.1

However, the film earned another $143.3 million overseas and reportedly beat the first weekends of all the Harry Potter films in eleven countries, including South Korea, Russia and Brazil. As it stands right now, observers think the film is performing well enough globally to guarantee that the franchise will spawn a few more sequels.

The film’s North American debut also represents a career-best opening for several of its co-stars, including (listed here with their previous personal bests):

  • Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander), Les Miserables (2012, $27.3 million)
  • Katherine Waterston (Porpentina Goldstein), Michael Clayton (2007, $10.4 million)
  • Dan Fogler (Jack Kowalski), Kung Fu Panda (2008, $60.2 million)
  • Colin Farrell (Percival Graves), Daredevil (2003, $40.3 million)
  • Samantha Morton (Mary Lou Barebone), Minority Report (2002, $35.7 million)
  • Jon Voight (Henry Shaw Sr), Transformers (2007, $70.5 million)
  • Ron Perlman (Gnarlack), Tangled (2010, $38.8 million)
  • Zoë Kravitz (Leta Lestrange), X-Men: First Class (2011, $55.1 million)

The film also has the third-best opening for Ezra Miller, behind his cameos in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, and the fifth-best opening for Johnny Depp, behind Alice in Wonderland and the last three Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Three other films had remarkably poor wide releases this week.

The offbeat high-school dramedy The Edge of Seventeen landed in seventh place with $4.8 million (the lowest opening ever for a wide release starring Hailee Steinfeld), while the boxing movie Bleed for This landed in eighth place with $2.4 million (the lowest opening ever for a wide release starring Miles Teller).

And Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which opened in two theatres last week, expanded to over a thousand theatres this week but failed to crack the top ten, landing in 14th place with only $930,000 — easily one of Ang Lee’s lowest earners ever.

Meanwhile, in other box-office news…

Doctor Strange earned $17.7 million and ranked second in its third week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $181.5 million. The film has earned another $390 million overseas for a global total of $571.5 million.

Trolls earned $17.5 million and ranked third in its third week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $116.2 million. The film has earned another $145.1 million overseas for a global total of $261.3 million.

Arrival earned $11.8 million and ranked fourth in its second week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $43.4 million. The film has earned another $10.8 million overseas for a global total of $54.2 million.

Almost Christmas earned $7 million and ranked fifth in its second week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $25.4 million. The film does not appear to have been released overseas yet.

Hacksaw Ridge earned $6.8 million and ranked sixth in its third week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $42.9 million. The film has earned another $6.5 million overseas for a global total of $49.3 million.

The Accountant earned $2.1 million and ranked ninth in its sixth week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $81.3 million. The film has earned another $57.3 million overseas for a global total of $138.6 million.

And Shut In earned $1.6 million and ranked tenth in its second week, thereby raising its domestic cume to $6 million. The film has earned another $40,504 overseas for a global total of $6.1 million.

Now for a bit of extra data on the year’s top-grossing animated films:

In North America, The Secret Life of Pets still ranks eighth among animated films:

  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $486.2 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $441.2 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $422.8 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $415.0 million
  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $400.7 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $380.8 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $368.1 million
  • 2016 — The Secret Life of Pets (Universal) — $367.3 million
  • 2015 — Inside Out (Pixar) — $356.5 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $341.3 million

Overseas, Finding Dory still ranks 10th while The Secret Life of Pets still ranks 13th:

  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $875.7 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $823.4 million
  • 2012 — Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox) — $715.9 million
  • 2009 — Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) — $690.1 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $682.5 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $648.2 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $602.7 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $559.5 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $545.7 million
  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $539.3 million
  • 2012 — Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (DreamWorks) — $530.5 million
  • 2010 — Shrek Forever After (DreamWorks) — $513.9 million
  • 2016 — The Secret Life of Pets (Universal) — $506.1 million
  • 2015 — Inside Out (Pixar) — $501.1 million
  • 2011 — Kung Fu Panda 2 (DreamWorks) — $500.4 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $478.6 million
  • 2007 — Shrek the Third (DreamWorks) — $476.2 million
  • 2013 — Monsters University (Pixar) — $475.7 million
  • 2006 — Ice Age: The Meltdown (Fox) — $465.6 million
  • 2014 — How to Train Your Dragon 2 (DreamWorks) — $444.5 million

And worldwide, Finding Dory still ranks fourth and The Secret Life of Pets still ranks 12th:

  • 2013 — Frozen (Disney) — $400.7 + 875.7 = 1276.5 million
  • 2015 — Minions (Universal) — $336.0 + 823.4 = 1159.4 million
  • 2010 — Toy Story 3 (Pixar) — $415.0 + 648.2 = 1063.2 million
  • 2016 — Finding Dory (Pixar) — $486.2 + 539.3 = 1025.5 million
  • 2016 — Zootopia (Disney) — $341.3 + 682.5 = 1023.8 million
  • 2013 — Despicable Me 2 (Universal) — $368.1 + 602.7 = 970.8 million
  • 1994 — The Lion King (Disney) — $422.8 + 545.7 = 968.5 million
  • 2003 — Finding Nemo (Pixar) — $380.8 + 559.5 = 940.3 million
  • 2004 — Shrek 2 (DreamWorks) — $441.2 + 478.6 = 919.8 million
  • 2009 — Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox) — $196.6 + 690.1 = 886.7 million
  • 2012 — Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox) — $161.3 + 715.9 = 877.2 million
  • 2016 — The Secret Life of Pets (Universal) — $367.3 + 506.1 = 873.4 million
  • 2015 — Inside Out (Pixar) — $356.5 + 501.1 = 857.6 million
  • 2007 — Shrek the Third (DreamWorks) — $322.7 + 476.2 = 799.0 million
  • 2010 — Shrek Forever After (DreamWorks) — $238.7 + 513.9 = 752.6 million
  • 2012 — Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (DreamWorks) — $216.4 + 530.5 = 746.9 million
  • 2013 — Monsters University (Pixar) — $268.5 + 475.7 = 744.2 million
  • 2009 — Up (Pixar) — $293.0 + 442.1 = 735.1 million
  • 2011 — Kung Fu Panda 2 (DreamWorks) — $165.2 + 500.4 = 665.7 million
  • 2006 — Ice Age: The Meltdown (Fox) — $195.3 + 465.6 = 660.9 million

Next week brings us Moana, Allied, Rules Don’t Apply and Bad Santa 2.

1. The two previous lowest first weekends — for 2007’s Order of the Phoenix and 2009’s Half-Blood Prince — were slightly above $77 million, but in both cases the films came out on a Wednesday and had earned over $139 million by their first Sundays. The previous lowest first weekend for a Harry Potter film that came out on a Friday was the $88.4 million taken in by 2002’s Chamber of Secrets.

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