The movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” — another foray into the world of wizardry from “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling — topped North American box offices in its debut as it took in $75 million, an industry group said Sunday.
Based on a book Rowling wrote in 2001 — it purports to be a reproduction of a textbook that was owned by Potter and required reading for all first-year Hogwarts students — the film is a story of wizardry and magical critters run amok in grim, sooty 1920s New York City.
Rowling herself wrote the screenplay in this Warner Bros. flick.
It grabbed first place away from Marvel’s “Doctor Strange”, which dropped to second in its third week in theaters as it posted another $17.7 million, for a total of $181.5 million.
The movie, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as neurosurgeon Stephen Strange — whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of use of his hands — is the 14th film in Disney’s “Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls” dropped from second to third as it earned $17.5 million in revenue, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.
Based on the classic plastic dolls known for their multi-colored hair, “Trolls,” featuring the voices of Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick, has reaped a total of $116.2 million in three weeks.
Two movies in their second week — the acclaimed alien invasion movie “Arrival,” starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, and the festive dramedy “Almost Christmas” — dropped to fourth and fifth respectively, with $11.8 million and $7.03 million.
Mel Gibson’s war movie “Hacksaw Ridge” took sixth place with $6.8 million and has now chalked up a total of $42.9 million.
The film tells the true story of World War II army medic Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who went on to receive the Medal of Honor despite refusing to carry a weapon.