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Box office report: Fantastic Beasts devours competition for top spot

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Jaap Buitendijk; Murray Close; Seacia Pavao

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the long-awaited, J.K. Rowling-penned Harry Potter spinoff, conjures magic at the top of the domestic box office, earning a sound $75 million to claim the No. 1 spot five years after the premiere of The Deathly Hallows — Part 2. 

With an estimated $75 million, the Eddie Redmayne-fronted fantasy notches the lowest number in the Harry Potter film series, though it does mark career-high openings for stars like Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, and Ezra Miller. The film also impressed audiences, earning a rare A grade on CinemaScore. The $180 million picture additionally rakes in $143.3 million from foreign markets for a global haul of $218.3 million. 

Coming in at No. 2 is Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, which dives a harsh 58.9 percent in Beasts‘ wake, making $17.7 million across its third weekend. The film has made $571 million around the world, further elevating parent distributor Disney’s record box office year.

Fox’s Trolls dips 50 percent at No. 3, tallying an estimated $17.5 million after its third weekend in wide release. Paramount’s $47 million Arrival suffers the brunt of the studio’s misleading marketing campaign across its sophomore frame, falling 50 percent to No. 4 with an estimated $11.8 million after registering a middling B grade on CinemaScore last week. Rounding out the top five is the holiday-themed ensemble comedy Almost Christmas, which tumbles 53.5 percent to an estimated $7 million. 

Outside the top five, major newcomers The Edge of Seventeen and Bleed for This struggle to make a dent on the domestic chart. The former, directed by Kelly Fremon Craig and starring Hailee Steinfeld, averages $2,481 on 1,945 screens for an estimated $4.8 million opening on a soft $9 million budget. Though the film is sure to make back its production costs, early projections suggested the teen comedy would clear that number over its first three days in theaters. 

Bleed for This, which stars Miles Teller as real-life boxer Vinny Pazienza, who refused to quit the sport despite suffering a serious spinal injury, fared worse, pulling in a muted $2.4 million from 1,549 theaters. Like Seventeen, however, the film was produced for a modest number in the $6 million range. 

Still, both Seventeen and Bleed for This earned positive reviews from critics and were well-received by polled moviegoers, as both films clock in with an A- grade on CinemaScore

After scoring uncharacteristically negative reviews for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Ang Lee also suffers one of his worst performances at the domestic box office for a wide release, as the drama pulls in a dreary $930,000 after expanding to 1,176 theaters on Friday for a No. 14 finish. The technologically groundbreaking film, presented in 4K HD clarity at 120 frames-per-second (the industry standard is 24 fps), has made approximately $22.6 million from international territories, however, though it’s unlikely to make even a fourth of that total in North America. 

At No. 21, Amazon Studios’ and Roadside Attractions’ awards-bound drama Manchester by the Sea earned an estimated $241,230 in limited release, pulling in $60,308 from four locations in New York and Los Angeles — the fourth highest per-screen average of 2016 thus far, and the best in Roadside’s 13-year history.

Tom Ford’s directorial follow-up to his acclaimed Colin Firth drama A Single Man, the Amy Adams/Jake Gyllenhaal neo-noir Nocturnal Animals, averages $13,351 from 37 locations for a weekend estimate of $494,000 at No. 18, while Feng Xiaogang’s festival stunner I Am Not Madame Bovary, which won the FIPRESCI International Critics’ Award at TIFF in September, earns $202,500 from 38 theaters at No. 23. 

Overall numbers are up around 4.6 percent from the same frame last year. Check out the Nov. 18-20 weekend box office estimates below. 

1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – $75 million 

2. Doctor Strange – $17.7 million 

3. Trolls – $17.5 million  

4. Arrival – $11.8 million 

5. Almost Christmas – $7 million

6. Hacksaw Ridge – $6.8 million 

7. The Edge of Seventeen – $4.8 million 

8. Bleed for This – $2.4 million 

9. The Accountant – $2.1 million 

10. Shut In – $1.6 million 

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