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'Fantastic Beasts 2',' Instant Family' & 'Widows' Hit the Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend Frame

by Brad Brevet
 

 
November 15, 2018

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: With an estimated $25.7 million on Friday, Warner Bros.'s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is coming in a bit lighter than was expected after matinees were reported yesterday. At this time the film is expected to pull in $61-64 million or so for the three-day weekend, but it isn't the only one of the weekend's new releases that's coming in a bit light. The film received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences compared to the "A" for the original. Internationally, Grindelwald has now reached $74.3 million from 79 markets now in release.

In fact, both Paramount's Instant Family and Fox's Widows are coming in short of expectations. Instant Family managed an estimated $4.5 million on Friday and is now expected to deliver around $13 million for the three-day while Widows brought in $4.2 million on Friday and is looking at a debut around $12 million. Instant Family received an "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences, which is something of a bright spot, though with such a relatively low opening it will be hard to make up much ground over the holidays. Widows received a "B".

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: WB's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald exploded onto the scene last night, delivering $9.1 million in Thursday night preview grosses from approximately 3,300 locations. While this is larger than the $8.75 million Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them took in from previews, Grindelwald did begin Thursday previews an hour earlier than its predecessor and the $9.1 million also includes As part of a Global event, we'll be in ~48 territories including the US and Canada. Domestically we'll be a fan event that took place on Tuesday night in ~600 locations.

In addition to domestic previews, Grindelwald continued its international roll out yesterday, adding an additional 45 markets, pushing the film's two day total to $31 million. The film will add another 24 markets today, including Spain, UK, China and Mexico.

Fox's Widows delivered $600,000 from last night's previews beginning at 7PM in ~2,200 theaters. The performance trails the comps we used in our preview below, but we aren't quite ready to lower our projection.

Paramount's Instant Family took in $550,000 from previews last night. Rotten Tomatoes score is 70% right now. The performance is far from the $1.2 million Daddy's Home brought in prior to a $38.7 million debut, but remains within range of films such as Goosebumps while pacing behind the likes of The Intern and The Internship, both of which debuted over $17 million.

We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Last year saw the November box office top $1 billion in calendar grosses for just the third time ever and it was the first time since 2013. This year, November grosses are currently trailing 2017 by just -2.4% and this weekend sees the release of what is sure to be another big debut in the form of WB's sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The weekend also features the debut of what looks to be a strong opening for Steve McQueen's Widows while the PG-13 comedy Instant Family hopes to begin a long holiday run.

Poised to finish atop the box office is Warner Bros.'s release of the second film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and there is a chance it could come close to matching the $74 million opening for its predecessor, though WB is remaining conservative with expectations hovering around $65 million. A look at IMDb page view data shows the film performing almost right on par with the first film, which is always a good sign for a sequel while online ticket retailer Fandango.com reports Grindelwald is pacing similarly to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the same point in the Fandango sales cycle. The film will open in 4,163 locations and our analysis points to a debut anywhere from $65-73 million.

Internationally, Grindelwald got off to a strong start on Wednesday, bringing in just over $10 million from ten markets including a $2.6 million opening day in France, which is +54% ahead of the opening day for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Overall, the film will launch in 45 more markets today, including Germany, Italy, Russia, Brazil and Australia, followed by 24 markets on Friday, including the UK, Spain, China and Mexico. Studio expectations are for a global debut over $250 million, but don't be surprised to see that total climb a bit higher come Sunday.

Universal and Illumination's The Grinch has enjoyed a strong first week, taking advantage of kids being out of school in observance of Veteran's Day for what amounted to $78.2 million over the film's first four days in theaters. It also continues to benefit as the lone animated title in the top ten, which should help propel it to a strong sophomore showing where we currently anticipate a drop around -43% for a $38.5 million three-day and a domestic cume over $125 million by the end of the weekend.

Once we reach third place the weekend begins to get a bit more blurry. We're looking to WB's Bohemian Rhapsody to deliver a three-day performance right around $18-19 million weekend for a domestic cume climbing over $130 million by the end of the weekend, but whether it will be enough for the bronze medal isn't entirely clear. Both Instant Family and Widows could top that figure.

We'll begin with Paramount's Instant Family, which reunites Mark Wahlberg with his Daddy's Home franchise director Sean Anders along with Rose Byrne whom has shown her comedic chops in films such as Neighbors and Bridesmaids. Studio expectations for the film are in the mid-teens to $20 million from 3,258 locations and while that's in the vicinity of our expectations, we can't help but feel it could exceed expectations.

When it comes to Fox's Widows, the reviews have been very strong, coming in with an 86 on Metacritic after getting a jumpstart back in September with a Toronto International Film Festival premiere. Since then it has played several festivals and hasn't skipped a beat with critics. A look at IMDb page view data shows it pacing similarly to Tom Cruise's American Made ($16.8m opening) while outpacing films such as Den of Thieves ($15.2m opening), Peppermint ($13.4m opening) and The Call ($17.1m opening). All told, we're currently forecasting a performance right around $17 million from 2,803 locations.

Expanding this weekend look for Aviron's A Private War in 865 theaters (+827) and Focus is expanding the release of Boy Erased into 409 locations (+332).

In limited release, Universal will debut Green Book in 25 theaters in advance of its wide release next Wednesday while CBS Films releases At Eternity's Gate into four theaters.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (4,163 theaters) - $68.0 M
  • Dr. Seuss' The Grinch (4,141 theaters) - $38.5 M
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (3,810 theaters) - $18.5 M
  • Instant Family (3,286 theaters) - $18.0 M
  • Widows (2,803 theaters) - $17.2 M
  • A Star is Born (2,010 theaters) - $5.4 M
  • Overlord (2,859 theaters) - $5.2 M
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2,635 theaters) - $4.7 M
  • The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story (2,929 theaters) - $4.1 M
  • Nobody's Fool (1,301 theaters) - $3.0 M

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