If there was a concern for the creators and studio over the plausibility of this Harry Potter spinoff connecting with viewers from the beloved franchise, then this past weekend will have calmed fears and set sights beyond 2016. According to THR, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them has debuted to a global box office collection of $218.3m. With $143.3m of that coming domestically.
The J.K. Rowling story stars Eddie Redmayne in the lead role of Newt Scamander. Where he enjoys the company of Farrell as Percival Graves, Katherine Waterson as Porpentina Goldstein and Dan Fogler playing Jacob Kowalski. To top it off, we have The Flash's own Ezra Miller, portraying Credence. From 4,144 theaters it managed a weekend total of $75m, which easily surpassed anything else out at the moment. But did fall short of all eight Harry Potter installments.
New Setting With New Market Opens Fresh Possibilities
With China and Japan yet to get their Fantastic Beasts fix when it opens in the coming weeks over in Asia, the film did beat all movies from the Harry Potter franchise in Russia to earn $9.8m. It also saw a $14.3 million haul from South Korea. Only two from that series managed to defeat this 1920s New York setting. Where they returned $18.3m in the home market of the United Kingdom.
Warner Bros. domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein saw this as an extension of those original novels and as a studio they are reaping the rewards of a magical story. "This was a magical weekend that's the result of inspired storytelling by J.K. and kicks off five new movies," explained Goldstein. "The Harry Potter films were all based on Rowling's books. Here, J.K. taught herself how to write an original screenplay, and she inspired all those many fans around the world and to take this ride with her."
R-Rated Movies Continue To Beat Expectations
As that blockbuster soaks up all of the limelight and love at the box office, the R-rated teen drama Edge of Seventeen grabbed $4.8m at the weekend from a small budget of $9m. Coming in at a lowly 7th place overall, the teen flick from STX was still hoping for more. STX President Adam Fogelson said, "We were disappointed but we were very financially responsible, so we were able to take a creative risk."
Other features like Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk ($1m) from Ang Lee and the boxing biopic Bleed for This ($2.5m) were starved of oxygen at the cinema and will both be rethinking their distribution schedules. Too many people were keen to see just how fantastic those beasts were.