"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" debuted with an estimated $62 million, enough for first place but not as much as its predecessor: "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" opened to $74 million in 2016.
The sequel has so far earned $191 million worldwide, but has received the worst reviews yet for a "Harry Potter" film. It has a 40% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes and moviegoers gave it a lower-than usual B+ Cinemascore.
The controversial casting of Johnny Depp as the title character may be one of the reasons that the second film didn't perform as well as the first "Fantastic Beasts" entry.
Meanwhile, "Instant Family," starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne as a couple who adopt three children, racked up $14.7 million from 3,286 locations. The movie, which is loosely based on a true story, earned an "A" CinemaScore and a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
"Widows," Steve McQueen's well-reviewed heist movie, earned $12.5 million from 2,805 venues. That's on par with the critically panned Jennifer Garner revenge drama "Peppermint," which debuted with $13 million in September. The cast, led by Viola Davis, has received raves and the film could be an awards contender despite being a genre movie. Davis, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "Fences," is currently ranked at #5 among Best Actress nominee predictions at GoldDerby.com.
In limited release, awards hopeful "Green Book," which stars Viggo Mortensen and "Moonlight" Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, earned $313,000 from 25 venues for a per-screen average of $12,520. The period film, in which a white driver (Mortensen) and a black musician (Ali) bond as they travel through the Deep South, won the people’s choice award at the Toronto Film Festival. It expands to more theaters on November 21.
But the best per-screen average of the weekend went to another likely Oscar nominee: "At Eternity's Gate," which stars Willem Dafoe as famously tortured painter Vincent Van Gogh. Playing at just four theaters in New York in Los Angeles, it racked up $23,000 per venue for a weekend take of $92,000. It will also expand to more theaters soon.
Here are the top 10 weekend estimates for November 16-18
1. "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," $62,200,000
2. "Dr. Seuss's The Grinch" (2018), $38,165,000
3. "Bohemian Rhapsody," $15,700,000
4. "Instant Family," $14,700,000
5. "Widows," $12,300,000
6. "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms," $4,678,000
7. "A Star is Born" (2018), $4,350,000
8. "Overlord," $3,850,000
9. "The Girl in the Spider's Web," $2,500,000
10. "Nobody's Fool," $2,260,000