Weekend BO Report: ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ Opens To A Franchise-low $62m In A Less-Than-Magical Weekend

Written by Dapo Olowu

This Box Office weekend saw ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ fall ill to the much rampant ‘sequel-itis’, an affliction affecting many other recent big-budget Hollywood follow-ups. Symptoms vary, but in the case of ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’, a mixture of an ordinary critical & moviegoer reception (40% on RT and a B+ on Cinemascore), and a packed film schedule, have seen the film suffer a $10m drop-off from its predecessor 2 years ago, to earn $62.2m – the lowest of the ‘Harry Potter’ films so far.

Of course, ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’s condition is nowhere near critical, but way under our $70m+ expectations. Two years ago, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ went onto finish at $234m domestically, and $580m overseas for a total of $814m worldwide. Its lop-sided domestic/international split is a precursor to Warner Bros’ cure for ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’; a focus on its international revenue.

Every ‘Wizarding World’ film has had its ratio somewhere in the 30:70 region, with ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and ‘The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2’ earning just 28% of their respective totals in the U.S. Warner Bros. have taken this into consideration with ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’, ditching the staggered international release option to open in 80 major markets across the globe at once.

We’re already seeing the treatment work: the film opened to over $191m overseas this weekend, eclipsing ‘Fantastic Beasts$145.5m international start. ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’s international gross from 79 countries included $37.5m from China and over $16m from the U.K, with Japan still to open at the end of the month.

Still, there’ll be many at WB who hoped for a better domestic start. ‘Fantastic Beasts’ earned a surprising opening weekend/domestic total multiplier of 3.15x when it grossed $234m back in 2016, while ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’, whose U.S. total seems destined to be the far more frontloaded, should end a domestic finish under $200m. It’s clear as the more U.S. audiences grow weary of a wider ‘Harry Potter’ universe (this is the second of five planned films), international moviegoers aren’t letting go just yet.

It also marks good news for ‘The Grinch’, as Illumination’s comedy remains the biggest opening of the month so far. Its second weekend gross of $38.6m gives it a $127m running total, ahead of Illumination’s last Seuss adaptation ‘The Lorax’ at the same time in its run.

Another of the new releases this weekend, ‘Instant Family’, failed to make an impact, grossing only $14.5m. The PG-13 comedy sees a similar opening to this year’s ‘I Feel Pretty’ ($16m) and ‘Tag’ ($14.9m), two comedies that finished at around $50m. ‘Instant Family’ boasts the best reception of the three, and its A on Cinemascore should grant it some staying power in coming weekends.

Staying power like ‘Daddy’s Home’ and ‘Daddy’s Home 2’, the previous collabs between director Sean Anders and star Mark Wahlberg, would be ideal, with a run like ‘Daddy’s Home’ in particular giving ‘Instant Family’ a $60m finish. Of course, this wouldn’t be anywhere near enough to guarantee profitability, raising the questions of firstly, who greenlit its $48m budget, and then, who forgot to call Will Ferrell to co-star?

If ‘Instant Family’ was neither here nor there, then ‘Widows’ is the flop of the weekend. With its $12.4m opening (from a $42m budget), the critically-acclaimed crime drama will likely finish on a domestic total around $35m.

Not the best news for director Steve McQueen, whose latest offering actually marks his biggest Box Office opening to date (overtaking ’12 Years a Slave’s $6.7m). It isn’t great news for studio 20th Century Fox either, as this marks another flop in a year where ‘Deadpool 2’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ have had to cover the losses of ‘The Darkest Minds’, ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’, ‘Red Sparrow’, and ‘The Predator’.

Widows’ ill-fortune may stem from an audience who didn’t connect with the film. Its B on Cinemascore and 65% audience RT score are just above-average, perhaps due to a marketing campaign that promoted a faster paced, heist-y film than the slower, character-driven story we ended up with. Regardless, it’s likely we’ll remember ‘Widows’ in the future for its award-season success, rather than its Box Office triumphs.

Thanksgiving weekend comes to town next weekend, with three more major releases – ‘Wreck It Ralph 2’, ‘Robin Hood’, and ‘Creed 2’ – looking to inflict damage onto this weekend’s three newbies, but who will hold up the best? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: Poor Reviews Won’t Stop ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’s Magical $70m Opening

Written by Dapo Olowu

It’s a weekend of four wide releases, but only one will bewitch the Box Office. ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’, part of the ever-growing Wizarding World by J.K. Rowling, returns exactly two years after its predecessor opened to a stunning $74.4m. The Warner Bros. production sees the return of its all-star cast, including Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander alongside Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, and Dan Fogler. The biggest news, however, lies with the newer recruits.

While the introduction of a young Dumbledore (Jude Law) will surely boost fan anticipation, the controversial addition of Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald could polarize a fair few. It’s a casting that’s already left some fans scratching their heads as to why Colin Farrell (from the first film) and a little hair bleach wasn’t deemed adequate enough by studio execs. Depp’s recent troubles have been well-publicised, but the 3-time Oscar nominee was still seen as a big enough star to warrant being cast.

Regardless, we can’t underestimate the loyalty of Harry Potter fans. Depp or no Depp, we expect the Potterheads to be out in their droves for this one, even with it being the first of the ‘HP/Wizarding World’ franchise to hold a rotten (44%) rating on the Tomatometer. A magical $71m domestic opening is likely, and with WB pushing this out to over 70 international markets, don’t be surprised to see the film get close to a spellbinding $300m worldwide by Sunday night.

Trailing in its wake is ‘The Grinch’s second weekend, which will put up a strong fight against its child-friendly rival ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ with around $40m. By Saturday, the film will sit on a $100m+ domestic haul, outpacing the likes of the other Illumination-Seuss release ‘The Lorax’.

Now here’s a shock: Steve McQueen’s critically-acclaimed ‘Widows’ looks to suffer a loss against the surprise package of the weekend, Mark Wahlberg’s PG-13 comedy ‘Instant Family’. Directed by Sean Anders, the man behind Wahlberg’s previous festive comedies ‘Daddy’s Home’ and ‘Daddy’s Home 2’, ‘Instant Family’ won’t touch their $30m openings, but a $17m start puts it on-par with this year’s ‘Life of the Party’ ($17.9m) and ‘I Feel Pretty’ ($16m).

Instant Family’ follows Pete (Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne), who decide to adopt three siblings at the same time. The movie’s a relative hit with critics, holding a strong 74% on the Tomatometer and 58 on Metacritic. All looks good for the comedy, although an inflated $48m budget may threaten hopes of pre-digital release profitability.

Steve McQueen’s ‘Widows’, on the other hand, is being tipped for award season success, and stars Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Kaluuya, Brian Tyree Henry, Colin Farrell, and Liam Neeson (alongside many, many others). Its all-star cast also saw a writing team composed of McQueen, previously of ’12 Years a Slave’ and ‘Shame’, and Gillian Flynn (‘Gone Girl’).

The R-rated crime-thriller, based on the 1983 TV show of the same name, sees a group of widowed women attempt to pull off a heist in order to repay a debt owed by their dead husbands.

Opening in just 2,800 cinemas may be a slight hinderance, especially in comparison to ‘Instant Family’s 3,300 and ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’s 4,200, but never discredit the allure of great film-making in the Box Office; ‘BlacKkKlansman’ opened to over $10m from just 1,500 cinemas in the summer. A $16m-ish opening will suit the $42m-budget ‘Widows’, which hopes to keep up a strong run in upcoming weeks.

The final release of the weekend sees biographical drama ‘A Private War, starring Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, and Stanley Tucci open into 870 cinemas in its third weekend. It may not enter the top ten with a $900k weekend, but can take solace in strong reception within the festival-circuit and in theatrical release.  

With Thanksgiving weekend on the horizon, which of these films will need a holiday weekend the most? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

Weekend BO Results: ‘The Grinch’s $68m Continues A Record Box Office Year

Written by Dapo Olowu

This weekend, according to Comscore, saw the domestic Box Office for 2018 reach the $10bn mark quicker than any other year in history. Fitting then, that we’d have ‘The Grinch’ steal a massive $67.6m to hit the top spot and continue the trend.

It not only continues a strong year, but a great record for studio Illumination; just one of their nine releases failed to open at number one – 2016s ‘Sing’ peaked at number 2, and ironically stands as the biggest ever film to never reach the top spot (grossing $270.4m domestically).

The Grinch’ is only Illumination’s 6th biggest opening, earning a little under 2012s ‘The Lorax’ ($70.2m). A similar performance would leave ‘The Grinch’ on a respectable domestic total of $206m, although I’m forecasting a bigger gross once the festive period really kicks in. It won’t match the heights of 2000s ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ starring Jim Carrey however, which made a whopping $260m 18 years ago.

The year’s ‘Grinch’ stars the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character, who plans to steal Christmas away from the residents of Whoville, which include Rashida Jones and Cameron Seely. It may have landed well in the states, but its international release was more muted, earning around $12.7m from 23 markets.

The international sphere was dominated by ‘Venom’, whose $111m opening in China means it’s the country’s second biggest superhero opening of all time, behind ‘Infinity War’ ($191m). ‘Venom’ now sits on a remarkable $676.2m worldwide, and its $4.9m weekend gives it a domestic total thus far of $206.3m.

This wasn’t the only big news of the weekend. Fox’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ fell by just 40% to earn $31.2m in its second weekend – pushing the domestic total to $100m in just two weekends. Now just $14m away from $300m worldwide, it seems as if the years of development hell were worth it in the end for Rami Malek-fronted Queen biopic.

While new release ‘Overlord’s $10.2m opening was nothing special (we did warn about that $38m budget), ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’s $7.8m start was dreadful. Costing $5m more than Paramount’s war-horror ‘Overlord’, ‘Spider’s Web’ will most likely be pulled out of cinemas by the month’s end.

Overlord’ didn’t fair much better, but can take solace in a stronger critical reception, and a likely finish around the $30m mark. Finally, Amazon’s Oscar bait drama ‘Beautiful Boy’, starring Steve Carrell, Timothee Chalamet, and Amy Ryan (and produced by Brad Pitt) earned $1.5m from 840 cinemas as expected.

After its big opening, how will ‘The Grinch’ do against child-friendly competition in the form of ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ next weekend? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

 

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Weekend BO Predictions: Illumination To Light Up Box Office As ‘The Grinch’ Takes $66m

Written by Dapo Olowu

Christmas comes early this Box Office weekend, with ‘The Grinch’ hoping to snatch any holiday cheer away from the other movie hopefuls. The animated remake of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ from 2000 (itself based off of Dr. Seuss’ 1957 book) features the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, alongside Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, and Cameron Seely.

Illumination Entertainment, the creators of the ‘Despicable Me’ and ‘Minions’ franchise (as well as ‘The Lorax’, ‘The Secret Life of Pets’, and the incoming ‘Shrek’ reboot), helm this on behalf of parent company Universal, and kept the budget down to a respectable $75m. Such is the skill of the company’s production team that none of their films have ever cost more than $80m (that being last year’s ‘Despicable Me 3’).

In comparison, rivals Pixar’s latest offering ‘Incredibles 2’ earlier this year cost a whopping $200m. This hasn’t stopped Illumination from raking in the cash – both ‘Despicable Me 3’ and ‘Minions’ topped $1bn worldwide, and although ‘The Grinch’ probably won’t hit these heights, we’re still expecting big numbers.

Its so-so 65% on the Tomatometer won’t dampen audience excitement for this, although previous weeks of kid-friendly cinema might. In the past month alone, U.S. cinemagoers have been treated to ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Goosebumps 2’, and ‘Smallfoot’, which may have already scratched the necessary itch.

Regardless, we’re being more optimistic so while ‘Despicable Me’ opened to $56.4m in 2010, we at JUMPCUT forecast around $66m, just below that of 2012s ‘The Lorax’, Illumination’s other Dr. Seuss adaptation ($70.2m). ‘The Grinch’ will surely then get off to a bright start by Sunday evening, and although it may not be stealing the hearts of critics, it’ll have no problem taking first place in the Box Office.

Of course, ‘The Grinch’ isn’t the only new release this weekend. J.J. Abrams and Paramount release ‘Overlord’, an action-horror set in WW2-stricken France. A big question surrounding this film is its link to the ‘Cloverfield’ franchise, and while Abrams has denied it in the past, the creepy alien/monster theme from the previous ‘Cloverfield’ films continue to rear their head(s) in this one.

Overlord’ is directed by Julius Avery and follows American soldiers (played by Wyatt Russell, Jovan Adepo, John Magaro and others) who discover secret Nazi experiments taking place during the war. Critically, it’s a hit, with 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, and can also take solace in the fact that its audience couldn’t be further away from this weekend’s big hitter ‘The Grinch’s if it tried.

The R-rated horror does however come with a somewhat-hefty $38m budget which, when compared to some of the horrors we’ve seen recently, is a bit bloated. Still, the film has a good chance of opening strongly, especially in the face of nearest competitor ‘Halloween’s recent woes (it fell a massive 66% last weekend). We’re thinking a $20m-ish 3-day start, a solid opening for such a budget.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ has a similar budget of $40m, but won’t share ‘Overlord’s Box Office success this weekend. Sure, it has the brand loyalty that comes with ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ book franchise, but considering the last film opened to just $12.8m (although ended at $232.6m worldwide) and starred Rooney Mara, not Claire Foy, as Lisbeth Salander, we can’t see a major shock happening hee.

Spider’s Web’ stars Foy as Salander, a computer hacker who tries to rescue and seek vengeance for women who’ve been victims of violence. It also features LaKeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, and Stephen Merchant, a completely new cast from the 2011 prequel directed by David Fincher and starring Mara and Daniel Craig.

Now helmed by Fede Álvarez (2016sDon’t Breathe’) and produced on half the budget after Sony decided to go for a soft reboot (after the 2011 film was itself a reboot of a Swedish trilogy starring Noomi Rapace), ‘Spider’s Web’ will aim to open in the region of $10m. While its predecessor opened during the Christmas holiday period and benefited from ‘The Greatest Showman’-like legs, ‘Spider’s Web’s performance will now almost entirely depend on a good audience reception in coming weeks.

Finally, we have ‘Beautiful Boy’ starring Steve Carrell and Timothee Chalamet. The drama is ramping up its cinema count by 300 to 840, and should earn just $1.3m to keep it outside the top ten.

Four new wide releases but one clear winner: ‘The Grinch’. Is Illumination becoming a serious competitor to Disney/Pixar? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Claire Foy Is Lisbeth Salander In First Trailer For ‘The Girl In The Spider’s Web’

“Lisbeth Salander, the cult figure and title character of the acclaimed Millennium book series created by Stieg Larsson, will return to the screen in The Girl in the Spider’s Web, a first-time adaptation of the recent global bestseller. Golden Globe winner , the star of ‘The Crown’, will play the outcast vigilante defender under the direction of , the director of 2016’s breakout thriller ‘Don’t Breathe’; the screenplay adaptation is by Steven Knight and Fede Alvarez & Jay Basu.”

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Cast: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Claes Bang, Christopher Convery, Synnøve Macody Lund, Vicky Krieps

Release Date: November 9th, 2018