In a strange weekend for a year that’s expected to reach $10B at the box office faster than ever before, many films earned totals towards the bottom of last week’s projections.
Surprising nobody, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald took the top spot at the box office this week, earning an estimated $62.2M – below projections that expected its opening weekend total somewhere in the $65-70M range. With $62.2M, Grindelwald is, by far, the lowest opening weekend earner for the Harry Potter franchise, unseating its predecessor in 2016 for that title ($74.4M). The film did have more success overseas though, despite falling short of projections in China, where it could only manage $37.5M. In fact, the sequel fell short of 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in its three most important markets, North America ($62.2M, -17%), China ($37.5M, -9%), and the UK ($16.3M, -15%). Regardless, Grindelwald still managed to hit its global projection on the nose with $253M.
Illumination’s The Grinch earned a solid $38.2M in its second weekend, good for second place. Just about the only movie in the top 5 that didn’t fall short of expectations this weekend, and it looks poised for a nice little run as the Christmas season approaches. Overseas, The Grinch earned $9.4M boosting its International total to $25.2M and its global total to $151.7M
Bohemian Rhapsody took $15.7M from the domestic box office in its third weekend. The Queen biopic has been beating expectations since its debut, so it’s no surprise that the film came in just below projections this week, as it was expected to earn closer to the $20M range. It’s domestic total stands at $127.9M. Overseas, it grossed an estimated $45.5M this weekend which pushes its International haul to $256.4M and its global total to $384.3M.
Newcomer Instant Family earned the fourth spot this weekend with $14.7M. Mark Wahlberg’s family comedy had earned solid reviews before release, but it also fell just short of expectations which had it totaling closer to $18M for its debut weekend.
Steve McQueen’s Widows rounds out the top five, coming in at the very bottom of its $12-18M projection with an estimated weekend total of $12.3M. Despite great reviews, an all-star cast, an award-winning director, and New York Times best-selling author Gillian Flynn, Widows just didn’t seem to resonate as well with audiences as it had with critics – currently sitting with a 66% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and earning just a B from Cinemascore.