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Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them takes $75 million on US debut

Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them

Story by Jack Foley

JK ROWLING’S return to the world of wizards in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them has proved a success. The film took $75 million on its US debut to comfortably hit top spot.

Boasting a script by Rowling, the fantasy-adventure stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, a collector of magical creatures who travels to 1920s New York, where several of his creatures get out.

It is designed to be the first chapter in a new five film franchise, which also serves as a prequel of sorts to the Harry Potter series. Put together with a robust international showing, the $75 million is expected to surge to $200 million globally once all the figures are in.

However, while Fantastic Beasts dominated, three other new films struggled to gain any interest and all opened behind holdover titles Trolls, Doctor Strange, Arrival and Hacksaw Ridge.

R-rated coming-of-age drama Edge of Seventeen, starring Hailee Steinfeld as an awkward teen dealing with her friend falling for her brother, opened to $4.8 million for a seventh-place finish. And that was despite positive reviews.

Boxing biopic Bleed For This fared even worse with an estimated $2.5 million. The film stars Miles Teller as Vinny Pazienza, a real-life boxer who attempts to make a comeback after a terrible car accident.

And Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk was a complete bomb, earning an estimated $1 million after expanding from venues in New York and Los Angeles.

It meant that the majority of the remaining box office bucks up for grabs outside of Fantastic Beasts were lapped up by holdover titles.

Animated hit Trolls remained in second spot, while Marvel’s Doctor Strange continued to hold strong at three.

Sci-fi stunner Arrival claimed fourth spot, while the US top five was rounded out by Mel Gibson’s Second World War drama Hacksaw Ridge, which sees Andrew Garfield playing Desmond Doss who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun.

Next story: Emilia Clarke joins Han Solo spin-off movie