Absence has made the heart grow fonder for “Harry Potter” fans, who flooded theatres this weekend to make J.K. Rowling’s spinoff prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” the weekend’s top draw at the box office.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Eddie Redmayne-starring movie brought in a domestic box-office take of $75 million, while the news was even better at worldwide, with “Fantastic Beasts” delivering a $218-million opening weekend internationally.
“This was a magical weekend that’s the result of inspired storytelling by J.K. and kicks off five new movies,” Warner Bros. domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein tells THR. “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.”
The strength of “Fantastic Beasts”, however, spelled bad news for the competition, with “The Edge of Seventeen” taking in a disappointing $4.8 million in its opening weekend.
The news was even worse for director Ang Lee’s latest, “Billy Flynn’s Long Halftime Walk”, which is being described by THR as the “biggest bomb” after only managing to take in a measly $1 million in two weekends of release, an unmitigated disaster when you consider the film’s reported $40-million budget.