The box office is heating up with two holidays and the final weeks of 2018 still on the calendar and big-name films making their debut hoping to steal some thunder. Last week Universal and Illumination managed to come out on top with their Christmas offering “The Grinch” but three new films came around this past weekend to challenge that film with mixed results. Was “The Grinch” able to hold on for a second week or did a newcomer take the win? Let’s take a closer look in this week’s Box Office breakdown, Nov. 16-18, 2018.
“The Grinch” did in fact fall in its sophomore weekend with a monster opening by Warner Bros. continuation of the “Harry Potter” universe, known as the Wizarding World, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”. The follow-up to 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the second entry in J.K. Rowling’s prequels series to her popular novels about The Boy Who Lived, “The Crimes of Grindelwald” smashed the competition despite poor reviews from critics to take in $62 million, a little below studio expectation. It’s also less than the first “Fantastic Beast” film by about $13 million but was more than enough to push past “The Grinch” which earned a solid $38.2 million to hold on to second placein its sophomore weekend. “The Crimes of Grindelwald” also debuted with a $191 million haul overseas bringing in $253 million globally over the weekend on a $200 million production budget. You can read my review of the movie here. The success of “The Crimes of Grindelwald” added to Warner Bros. monster year where they’ve topped the box office with films like “The Nun”, “Crazy Rich Asians”, “The Meg”, “Ocean’s 8”, “Rampage” and “Ready Player One”.
With “The Grinch” holding tight in second another holdover, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, also showed strong staying power in third with $15.7 million in its third week. You have to go back to fourth place to find the next new entry in the top ten with the Mark Wahlberg-led “Instant Family” which rode positive reviews to a $14.7 million debut on the low end of its projections. Fox’s “Widows” rounded out the top five being criminally ignored with only $12.3 million domestically. You can read my review of this early Oscar contender here. Rounding out the top ten were “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”, “A Star is Born”, “Overlord”, “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” and the documentary “Burn the Stage: The Movie” entering the chart at number ten.
Next week is going to be interesting. Three new films are releasing starting today including a modernized take on “Robin Hood”, the latest entry in the “Rocky” franchise “Creed II” and Disney’s animated sequel “Wreck it Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet”. Should be fun to see who tops the chart especially sense all three newcomers will have early showing prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. You can look for my reviews of all three of these movies and more this week and weekend to celebrate the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!