AceShowbiz - The new champion is here. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" opens strong at North American box office with $74.4 million in its debut weekend, forcing two-week champion "Doctor Strange" to hand over the throne. Therefore, the %cBenedict Cumberbatch%-led movie falls to the second place with additional $17.8 million.
Senior media analyst of comScore Paul Dergarabedian says, "It's a tale of the battling wizards," referring to %cEddie Redmayne%'s Newt Scamander and Cumberbatch's Sorcerer Supreme. "In the post-election period, maybe just the super-fantastic worlds are the ones that people want to escape to."
Though "Fantastic Beasts" opening can't surpass the original movies in J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" film franchise at box office, it still ranks as one of the year's 10 best debuts. According to Dergarabedian, it's a great start for "Fantastic Beasts", saying that the movie's domestic numbers, along with its international haul of $143.3 million, "shows the tremendous goodwill built on the back of the 'Harry Potter' brand."
Rounding out the top five are "Trolls", "Arrival" and "Almost Christmas", which drop one slot to the third, fourth and fifth respectively. The animated flick featuring the voices of %cJustin Timberlake% and %cAnna Kendrick% earns $17.4 million, while the %cAmy Adams%-led sci-fi-thriller bags $12.1 million. As for the comedy movie, it collects an additional $7.3 million for Universal.
Meanwhile, newcomers like "The Edge of Seventeen" and "Bleed for This" fail to take decent spots. The %cWoody Harrelson% and %cHailee Steinfeld%-starring comedy flick lands in the seventh place with $4.8 million, while %cMiles Teller%'s sports drama debuts in the eighth place with $2.4 million. Additionally, Amy Adams and %cJake Gyllenhaal%-led thriller "Nocturnal Animals" tanks, opening in the eighteenth place with $492.648.
Top Ten Movies at Box Office for November 18-20: