BOX OFFICE: “Beasts/Grindelwald” underperforms, “Instant Family” rubs out “Widows”

box1Two things one sees in the way the weekend take of “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is being spun.

Warner Brothers got Deadline.com and Box Office Mojo to play up the “Huge opening, worldwide.” It opened day and date over much of the planet and earned $253 million. Yes, the global market is more important than the domestic one in our One Big Cineplex World. But that’s a way of avoiding direct comparisons and soft-peddling bad news.

Because the the second talking point is that it made less than was being predicted, even as late as Friday PM, Sat. AM. The take shrank and shrank. Projected to clear $70, it earned only $62 million domestically. 

That’s quite a bit less than the first film in the “adult” Wizarding World series earned two years ago, when it opened 20% higher ($74 million).

“Instant Family” won the race for fourth place ($14.7), edging the adult heist picture “Widows” ($12.3).

“The Grinch” had a big second weekend, tallying $38 million and change (It’s over $126 on just its second week).

“Bohemian Rhapsody” had a healthy but not stellar take and now stands at $127, still well behind “A Star is Born.” ($185)

“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” opened weakly, and plummeted on its second weekend. Out of the Top Ten by Thursday.

Limited release “Boy Erased” almost cracked the top ten, “Green Book” had great per-screen numbers (opening wider Thanksgiving), “The Front Runner” and “A Private War” aren’t setting the per-screen averages on fire in just a few theaters(“Private War” is on a lot more screens, and won’t reach an audience without Awards Season help).

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