Weekend Box Office (November 16 - 18, 2018)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Audiences returned to the world of Dumbledore and his wizard pals as the fantasy sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opened at number one in North America with an estimated debut of $62.2M. That marked a 16% erosion from the $74.4M launch of the first Beasts from this same weekend two years ago as a portion of the audience took a pass this time. The PG-13 film averaged $14,941 from 4,163 locations including 406 IMAX screens.

Reviews were not as positive this time for the second installment of this five-part series. Fans were also not as pleased as the CinemaScore grade came in at a B+ falling two notches from the A of its predecessor. Studio data showed that the crowd was 57% female and 69% over 25. With some of the fan base dropping out this time, and those who did show not liking it as much, Grindelwald may end up with somewhat weaker legs than the first Beasts. Still, a domestic finish north of $175M is quite possible.

International markets were very strong and delivered a hefty $191M in grosses on opening weekend putting the global launch at $253.2M. The two biggest overseas markets were China and the U.K., but both of them, like North America, saw erosion from last time. China scored $37.5M and the U.K. generated $16.3M compared to $41M and $19.2M for the first Beasts. All are Friday-to-Sunday figures including previews. But other markets are showing growth so overall when making direct comparisons the opening weekend performance overseas was roughly equal to the last chapter at +2%.

The road ahead should still see a final worldwide haul of more than $700M but falling short of the $812M of the last Beasts, with three more films in this series yet to come. The next installment will likely hit theaters this same week two years from now in 2020.

Falling out of first place, but still performing well and set up nicely for the coming holiday week, was Universal's animated comedy The Grinch which dropped 44% to an estimated $38.2M. The PG-rated toon has scored an impressive $126.5M to date and with Thanksgiving approaching, it should find its way into the double century club. Competition will, however, get fierce mid-week when Disney launches its competing toon Ralph Breaks the Internet which already has amassed very strong reviews. But history has proven that the turkey frame sees the marketplace expand to accommodate multiple films that audiences find engaging.

Down 50% in its third round was the music smash Bohemian Rhapsody with an estimated $15.7M which boosted Fox's domestic total to a sturdy $127.9M. The global gross is nearing $400M as audiences around the world continue to embrace the Freddie Mercury film. Overseas markets grossed an estimated $45.5M this weekend raising the offshore total to $256.4M and the global gross to a strong $384.3M. Rhapsody should surge past the half-billion mark and may even cross $550M too making it one of the biggest blockbusters of 2018 outside of the action movie genre.

Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne headlined the new comedy Instant Family which debuted in fourth place with decent numbers grossing an estimated $14.7M. The PG-13 film averaged $4,474 from 3,286 locations and was very well-received by audiences as the A grade from CinemaScore bodes well for the weeks ahead. Reviews were positive for the Paramount title and crowds responded to the starpower and the story involving adoption. It did, however, come in on the low end of Wahlberg debuts.

Opening in fifth place, also with moderate results, was the crime thriller Widows with an estimated $12.3M from 2,803 locations for a $4,388 average. The R-rated action pic starring Viola Davis earned strong reviews from critics, but was met with a more lackluster response from paying audiences who gave a B CinemaScore grade. Fox does hope that adult audiences will keep coming in over the Thanksgiving holiday when people have more free time.

Disney's The Nutcracker fell 54% to an estimated $4.7M in its third round boosting the dismal cume for the big-budget fantasy to only $43.9M. A Star is Born dropped 46% to an estimated $4.4M giving Warner Bors. a robust $185.8M to date.

Rounding out the top ten were three films that lost more than 60% of their business each. The zombie pic Overlord tumbled 62% to an estimated $3.9M for Paramount putting the total at $17.7M. Following a weak start, the crime thriller The Girl in the Spider's Web declined by 68% to an estimated $2.5M giving Sony only $13.3M to date. The Paramount comedy Nobody's Fool collected an estimated $2.3M, down 66%, for $28.9M overall.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $160.7M which was down 17% from last year when Justice League opened at number one with $93.8M; but up 10% from 2016 when Fantastic Beasts debuted in the top spot with $74.4M.

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Watch the trailer for The Secret Life of Pets.

Be sure to check back on Wednesday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Ralph Breaks the Internet, Creed 2 and Robin Hood open.

# Title Nov 16 - 18 Nov 9 - 11 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Fantastic Beasts: Grindelwald $ 62,163,104 4,163 1 $ 14,932 $ 62,163,104 Warner Bros.
2 The Grinch 38,587,130 67,572,855 -42.9 4,141 2 9,318 126,963,410 Universal
3 Bohemian Rhapsody 16,042,965 31,201,568 -48.6 3,810 3 4,211 128,228,824 Fox
4 Instant Family 14,504,315 3,286 1 4,414 14,504,315 Paramount
5 Widows 12,361,307 2,803 1 4,410 12,361,307 Fox
6 The Nutcracker 4,772,950 10,086,869 -52.7 2,635 3 1,811 43,965,640 Disney
7 A Star is Born 4,293,663 8,105,163 -47.0 2,010 7 2,136 185,784,570 Warner Bros.
8 Overlord 3,790,251 10,202,108 -62.8 2,859 2 1,326 17,683,140 Paramount
9 The Girl in the Spider's Web 2,501,616 7,810,112 -68.0 2,929 2 854 13,292,139 Sony
10 Nobody's Fool 2,216,073 6,636,242 -66.6 1,301 3 1,703 28,843,691 Paramount
11 Venom 1,976,625 4,915,378 -59.8 1,307 7 1,512 210,077,668 Sony
12 Boy Erased 1,323,832 758,173 74.6 409 3 3,237 2,675,782 Focus
13 Can You Ever Forgive Me? 893,180 1,442,422 -38.1 555 5 1,609 5,071,365 Fox Searchlight
14 The Hate U Give 780,051 2,051,363 -62.0 593 7 1,315 28,223,244 Fox
15 A Private War 701,589 196,585 256.9 865 3 811 1,068,110 Aviron
16 Halloween 699,185 3,998,885 -82.5 922 5 758 158,795,325 Universal
17 Beautiful Boy 582,263 1,450,661 -59.9 558 6 1,043 6,401,267 Amazon
18 Free Solo 467,510 758,127 -38.3 187 8 2,500 8,981,989 NatGeo
19 Smallfoot 423,604 1,508,102 -71.9 493 8 859 81,356,772 Warner Bros.
20 Night School 333,325 1,000,260 -66.7 370 8 901 76,600,015 Universal
Top 5 $ 143,658,821 $ 127,168,563 13.0
Top 10 161,233,374 152,580,543 5.7
Top 20 169,414,538 163,231,730 3.8
Top 20 vs. 2017 169,414,538 196,332,231 -13.7

Last Updated: November 18, 2018 at 3:35PM ET

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