Box Office: Fantastic Beasts, fantastic sales

Harry Potter spinoff lifts box office dramatically: week surges 47%

It could have been a very sad state of affairs on the weekend without the new Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. The Warner Bros release took two thirds of weekend box office on its 700+ screens.

The weekend earn of $15.05m was the best since the opening weekend of The Girl On The Train on the second weekend in October, and an improvement on last week by an impressive 47%. The 19 other movies in the top 20 could collectively only manage $5m between them.

#1 Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them $9.75m

Certainly not a record breaker this year, but a massive injection of cash that will be more than welcome. The JK Rowling army has been good to their idol, handing over considerable piles of cash for both Harry Potter books and then movies, and it seems the thrill hasn’t gone yet. The movie opened on 709 screens, the most since for any new release this year, with a screen average of $13,761, the best since the opening weekend of The Girl On A Train, which did $14,725. Potter-mania has spread around the world with Fantastic Beasts opening on $218m globally, topping the box office in most key territories, including the US.

#2 Doctor Strange $1.20m

Well played Doctor, after three consecutive weeks at #1, the Marvel movie slips one spot and 53% week-on-week with over $18m in Aussie dollars passing through cinema cash registers so far. The movie shed 132 screens down to 322, which gave it a screen average of $3,754.

#3 Arrival $1.16m

The SF drama starring Amy Adams was the only other player to make it to $1m or better. These top three movies between accounted for $12m of the weekend’s $15m. That’s not a stunning stat, but it looks more dramatic given the dominance of the movie sitting at #1. Arrival dropped 47%, shed zero screens and delivered a second weekend screen average of $4,358.

#4 Hacksaw Ridge $832,000

Not much opposition has helped this hold for a third week in the top five. Don’t write it off yet either as some of next week’s new titles don’t have guaranteed hit written over them, but they should do better than the $400,000 or less this could write next weekend – whatever happens Hacksaw Ridge will pass $5m in total receipts so far during this week.

#5 The Accountant $683,000

A third weekend in the top five here too will surely be its last. This Ben Afleck movie should make it to $5m too by the end of next weekend, it sits on $4.41m at present.

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