‘Fantastic Beasts’ spins box office magic

Posted at 12:07 PM, Nov 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-20 12:07:23-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harry Potter spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” cast a spell over audiences, summoning $75 million according to studio estimates Sunday and unseating “Doctor Strange” from the top spot.

The success of the J.K. Rowling creation is a promising kick-off for the planned five film franchise, but it didn’t leave much room for other wide releases to find their footing this weekend.

Ang Lee’s ambitious wartime drama “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” tanked in its expansion from four to 1,176 theaters with a mere $930,000. The film cost a reported $40 million to produce.

Other more modestly budgeted films also struggled, including the R-rated high school comedy “The Edge of Seventeen,” which earned $4.8 million, and the boxing drama “Bleed for This,” which took in $2.4 million.