The Weekend Round-up
At the start of the year, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them looked like one of the biggest films on the slate, and it duly proved to be, as it opened with the biggest weekend of the year to date, £15.3m. That means Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (£14.6m) has finally been eclipsed as the biggest opening weekend of 2016. In terms of Harry Potter films, Fantastic Beasts’ opening weekend is the third biggest Friday to Sunday total, behind both Deathly Hallows films. It’s also the ninth biggest Friday to Sunday opening weekend of all time. All in all, a sensational result.
Last weekend’s top film, Arrival, had a decent hold in the face of J.K. Rowling’s behemoth, falling 42% to £1.5m (once previews are removed). After 11 days in cinemas, the super smart sci-fi has grossed £5.8m.
Trolls had the best hold in the top 10, falling 32% to £1.2m. On Saturday it crossed the £20m mark and now sits on £20.8m. With Moana not out for two more weekends, it should have a bit more to go yet.
Event cinema came back into the top 10 as Andre Rieu’s Christmas with Andre concert grossed £1.2m from Saturday shows to become the highest-grossing single day concert event.
Doctor Strange completed the top five, taking a bit of a tumble in the face of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It fell 60% to £941k and has now banked £21.5m.
Overall the box office was up 86% from last weekend and up 14% from the same weekend last year, when the top four films were The Hunger Games: Mockingkjay Part 2, SPECTRE, The Lady in the Van and Hotel Transylvania 2.
Allied is the latest from Back to The Future and Forrest Gump director, Robert Zemeckis. Brad Pitt stars as an intelligence officer in North Africa during WWII, who encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war. Marion Cotillard co-stars in this tense romantic drama.
Bad Santa 2 is the sequel to the 2003 comedy. Billy Bob Thornton returns as Willie with his angry little sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. It’s in cinemas from Wednesday (23 November).
A United Kingdom opened this year’s BFI London Film Festival and stars David Oyelowo as Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana, who causes an international stir when he marries a white woman from London in the late 1940s. Rosamund Pike co-stars.
Patriot’s Day re-teams Mark Wahlberg with director, Peter Berg, after Lone Survivor and this year’s Deepwater Horizon. It’s an account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis's actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it. It premiered in the US last week and has received some strong reviews. Variety called it ‘genuinely exciting megaplex entertainment, informed by extensive research, featuring bona fide movie stars’, while The Playlist said that Peter Berg has ‘made an action film that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let up’. It’s out in the UK on 24 February.
Across The Pond
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them topped the box office in the US too, opening with $75m, and surprisingly, 55% of the audience was over the age of 35. Doctor Strange fell to second, adding $17.7m, which brings its total to $181.5m. Trolls added $17.5m in third and has now banked $116.2m. Last week’s number one, Arrival, fell 51% to $11.8m and after 10 days in cinemas has banked $43.3m. Almost Christmas completed the top five, adding $7m for a new cume of $25.4m.