Tag Archives: fantastic beasts: the crimes of grindelwald

Ralph Rules for a Third Weekend While Aquaman Rocks China

Ralph Breaks the Internet ruled the weekend again for the third weekend in a row bringing in an estimated $16.1 million that brings its domestic total to $140.9 million. Internationally the film earned $18 million to bring that total to $258.2 million after it debuted in Spain.

In second place was Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch repeating in that spot. It earned an estimated $15.2 million to bring its domestic total to $223.5 million. Overseas the film added $25.9 million to bring its international total to $98.9 million and global earnings to $322.4 million.

Repeating in third was Creed II which added an estimated $10.3 million to its domestic total to bring that to $96.5 million. It also brought in $5.2 million from overseas bringing that total to $23.2 million.

Fourth place was also a repeat with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald adding an estimated $6.8 million to its domestic total to bring that to $145.2 million. It added $22 million to its international box office to bring its global total to $568.5 million.

Rounding out the top five was another repeat, Bohemian Rhapsody which earned an estimated $6 million to lift its domestic total to $173.6 million. Overseas it earned an estimated $29.2 million to bring that total to $423 million and a worldwide total nearing $600 million.

Aquaman debuted in China two weeks ahead of the domestic release where it earning an impressive $93.6 million. That’s 85% of the total market share for the weekend in China and is the the studio’s largest opening weekend ever in China and the largest industry opening in the market in December. It expands internationally next weekend with 40+ more overseas market including the UK, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil.

This weekend also early screenings of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Bumblebee though neither has seen numbers released. This coming week sees Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse open in 3400+ locations, likely taking first place, as well as Once Upon a Deadpool, the PG-13 version of Deadpool 2, which opens in around 500 locations beginning Wednesday.

In othe comic adaptation news…

Venom came in at #17 improving one spot from the previous weekend with an estimated $305,000 to bring its domestic total to $212.7 million.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive into this year’s comic film adaptations.

It’s an Animation One-Two as Ralph Tops the Box Office for a Second Weekend

Ralph Breaks the Internet took the top spot at the box office for a second weekend in a row. The film delivered an estimated $25.8 million after three days. The film also added $33.7 million at the international box office. Domestically the film has earned $119.3 million and $87.7 million at the foreign box office for a worldwide total of $207 million.

The number two and three spot switched from the previous week. This week Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch earned an estimated $17.7 million to bring its domestic total to $203.5 million. Internationally the film added 20 markets to make it 53 total. It earned an estimated $27.1 million at the international level and stands at $64.8 million. It still has to open in Mexico, Japan, China, Korea, and Russia.

In third place was Creed II which earned an estimated $16.8 million, a 52.7% drop from the previous week. Its earned $81.2 million domestically. This weekend it also expanded into 29 foreign markets and earned an estimated $10 million for an international total of $11.4 million. It won’t be opening in key intentional markets until the new year expanding throughout January.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was in fourth place with an estimated $11.2 million and a domestic total of $134.3 million. Internationally it added $40.2 million for a total of $385.3 million and a global total just shut of $520 million.

Rounding out the top five was Bohemian Rhapsody which brought in $8.1 million after five weeks and a domestic total nearing $165 million. Internationally the film added $37 million from 72 markets and a foreign total of $375.1 million and worldwide total of $539.6 million.

When it comes to comic film adaptations…

Venom was #17 at the weekend box office with an estimated $380,000 to bring its domestic total to $212.3 million.

We’ll have a deeper dive into this year’s comic adaptations in an hour so come back to see how this year’s shaping up!

Ralph Breaks the Internet Wins the Weekend with the Second Largest Thanksgiving Opening Ever

The last five days have been good for the box office with the largest Thanksgiving three-day weekend ever in the top twelve films. They combined for over $206 million.

Ralph Breaks the Internet was the top of the weekend box office with the second largest five day Thanksgiving gross of all time. The film earned $84.5 million over five days and $55.7 million over the three days. The film also received good reviews and word of mouth which should propel it quite well in the coming weeks. The crowd was 51% female while the first film was 55% male.

Internationally the film earned an estimated $41.5 million from 18 markets for a $125.9 million global debut.

In second place was Creed II with a $55.8 million five-day debut. That’s the seventh largest opening during Thanksgiving and the largest for a live-action film. It’s $16 million ahead of the original. It earned $35.3 million over the three day weekend.

Audiences enjoyed the film giving it an “A” CinemaScore which matches the original and points to a solid run that should beat the original.

In third place was Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald over the five days but it was fourth over the three days. It earned $42.9 million to bring its domestic total to $117.1 million. Over the three days it earned $29.7 million. It also earned $83.7 million internationally making it the number one film globally for the second weekend in a row. Worldwide the film has earned $439.7 million.

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch was fourth over the five days but third over the three days. It earned $42 million over the five days which brings its domestic total to $180 million. Over the three days it earned $30.2 million. The film also opened in 11 markets bringing in $7.6 million to bring its international total to $35.3 million. It opens in 23 more markets this coming weekend.

Rounding out the top five was Bohemian Rhapsody which earned $19.4 million over five days to bring its domestic total to $152 million. It earned $13.9 million over the three days. With $38 million internationally, the global total is now $472.1 million.

In comic movie adaptations….

Venom came in at #15, down from #12 last week. The film earned an estimated $780,000 over the three day weekend to bring its domestic total to $211.7 million.

We’ll have a deeper dive into this year’s comic adaptations in an hour.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Takes First and $253 Million Worldwide

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald topped the weekend box office and earned an estimated $62 million, about $13 million shy of the first film in the series.

The film should do well over the holidays but the reviews have been mixed with just 40% on RottenTomatoes and 53 on Metacritic. It received a “B+” CinemaScore, which is a dip from the first film’s “A.” The audience was 57% female and 69% of the audience age 25 years or older.

Internationally, the film brought in $191 million from 79 markets setting a record in 18 of them. Overall the film earned $253.2 million worldwide.

Dropping to second place was Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch which added an estimated $38.2 million to its domestic total bringing that to $126.5 million. The film also earned $9.4 million from 23 foreign markets for a new total of $25.2 million.

Bohemian Rhapsody came in third bringing in an estimated $15.7 million for a domestic total of $127.8 million. Internationally the film earned an estimated $45.5 million bringing its foreign total to $256.4 million and $384.3 million worldwide so far off of a $52 million budget.

In fourth place was the new film Instant Family which earned an estimated $14.7 million off of a $48 million budget. It was the lower end of expectations but the film did get an “A” CinemaScore. The film’s audience was 65% female and 61% over 35 years old.

Rounding out the top five was another new film, Widows. With an estimated $12.3 million, that opening was a bit below expectations. The film added 18 markets over the weekend earning an estimated $2.8 million to bring that total to $7.3 million.

When it comes to comic film adaptations…

Venom came in at #11 with an estimated $1.9 million to bring its domestic total to $210 million.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper look into this year’s comic adaptations and their box office earnings.

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Grindewald posterFans of the Potterverse can rejoice: you have a great sequel on your hands. While the first Fantastic Beasts seemed more concerned with worldbuilding and funny side-business, this second act of a planned five Fantastic Beasts films goes deeper and darker than we’ve ever gone before. The adage goes that in act 1, you introduce characters; act 2, dig a giant pit and throw them in; act 3, get them out. This is a deep, dark wizarding pit and definitely in my top 3 favorite Potterverse films.

From the get-go, it hits you with a fierce intensity. An opening scene re-introducing our villain Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and a subsequent jailbreak have more action crammed into the first ten minutes than the entire first film combined.

We also get continued beautiful character development of our hero Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he is recruited by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to try to track the escaped Grindelwald down. Grindelwald is obsessed with finding Credence (Ezra Miller), who against all odds survived the confrontation at the end of the first film and is now hiding in Paris. Dumbledore is hiding a mystery of why he won’t move against the dark wizard himself, but fears the Ministry of Magic’s Auror office, headed by Newt’s brother Theseus, and their heavyhanded tactics will play into Grindelwald’s plans.

There’s another wrinkle, as Theseus is set to marry fellow Auror Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz) who was a Hogwarts girlfriend of Newt’s in the perfect Hufflepuff-Slytherin relationship the fandom has always wanted. Newt, however, is still in love with American Auror Tina who is also in Paris searching for Credence and Grindelwald. So when her sister Queenie and now-fiance Jacob Kowalski show up on Newt’s doorstep, they all head to Paris searching for each other, for Credence, for Grindelwald.

Everybody get that? Sorry, it’s complicated.

The plot is more layered and delicate than a perfect french pastry. Even better, the characters and their arcs also feed in to the broader themes of the film. A big part of this is also about accepting and loving people because of, not just in spite of, their differences.  Expanding the main quartet from the first film to six by adding in Theseus and Leta is a brilliant move that is executed flawlessly. You have a half dozen people who are so incredibly different from each other and they all love one another in very different ways. Whether related by blood or not, they are like family. And so much of Credence’s story — despite him being the macguffin for this story — is very much about his own search for meaning and who his family is.

There’s also great commentary woven in here about how we co-exist with one another. A major plot point revolves around the legality or acceptance of marriage between the magic world and the non-magic world. There’s a complex morality about whether maybe wizards and witches should reveal themselves to the human world in an attempt to help the humans? Or just outright rule them. And ultimately identity and who we love is the main focus of this film. It is heartbreaking on multiple levels.

You also have Dumbeldore and Grindelwald as these perfect foils for one another. While not mentioned in the film, it would be worthwhile to review their early relationship around searching for The Deathly Hallows and the fateful three-way duel between them and Albus’s brother Aberforth which resulted in the death of their sister. (Note that all of those events take place several years before the first Fantastic Beasts film– you’ll want to get your timeline straight when you see this.)

The film also delivers a climax of epic proportions. When I compare this to the artistry and moral stakes of the finale of The Empire Strikes Back, I do not invoke that comparison lightly, but it is the best analog to what we have in this film. There are emotional stakes. There are plot twists. Bring tissues.

Sounds pretty amazing, right? It is. But the film has some other, er. . . problematic areas.

The first is the casting of Claudia Kim as Nagini. In later films/books, we know Nagini becomes Voldemort’s pet/horcrux, and fans have (rightfully) pointed out the racism in casting a Korean actress as a character who later becomes a pet. Rowling also caught justifiable flak for defending her choice saying:

Yikes. Koreans are not Indonesian, Chinese, Javanese, or Betawi. Ok, so this is hella problematic.

Here’s the deal, though: Claudia Kim in this movie is magic– no pun intended. She gives one of the best performances of the movie. Her character is a strong woman with agency, morals, and a personal story arc. She can also transform into a snake and is Credence’s best friend. It’s actually really terrible that she has to be Nagini and not just some other unnamed Maledictus, as she was originally listed in the casting. This is, of course, a problem endemic to prequels.

The other giant glaring problem with this movie is Johnny Depp. I don’t care what you think of Depp as a person or as an actor. But he is garbage in this movie. I haven’t seen someone so clearly just picking up a paycheck and not expending any effort since…  well, Johnny Depp in the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I haven’t seen a character so grating and unappealing in a tentpole franchise film since… well, Johnny Depp in the last Alice in Wonderland movie. He is terrible, and Warner Bros need to cut their losses and recast him for the inevitable (and well-deserved!) sequel. He’s a distraction every time he’s on screen, because he is expending so little effort that it’s simply, “Look! Johnny Depp in a platinum wig!”

The film’s saving grace is he isn’t in it very much despite being the title character. The downside is, this character deserves better. Here’s the real deal: Grindelwald has a point. Like Thanos, like Erik Killmonger, like the best baddies of 2018, he is a villain whose logic is sound, whose grievances are real, but whose methods are immeasurably unconscionable.

This is otherwise a near-perfect film– easily the equal of an Infinity War. But Johnny Depp’s magic spell he casts on this film is to drag it down by an entire star just by himself. In a cruel twist of either irony or tonedeaf marketing, most prints are being paired with the trailer for Aquaman starring Amber Heard as Mera. If there is any sense of cosmic justice, Aquaman will kick Grindelwald’s butt at the box office and Warner Bros may wise up that, hey, maybe having Depp star in our tentpole franchise is a bad idea.

Just sort of expend as little effort as possible in paying attention to Depp– at least as little as he is expending in performing– and try to enjoy the film pretending he is replaced by, oh, say, Christopher Plummer– just kidding. But seriously– Ewan MacGregor. Or Russell Crowe. Or Javier Bardem. Or Paul Bettany.

If you can do that, you will absolutely fall in love with this film. It raises the stakes, dashes expectations, and leaves you wanting more. Bring on the third Fantastic Beasts movie — and look for a spoiler-filled article from me later about why Newt Scamander is the hero we all need for 2018.

4 out of 5 stars