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The Grinch Eyeing $60M+ Opening Weekend

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The Grinch, Universal and Illumination’s latest animated feature together, is on track to score between $55 million and $65 million when it opens in the US this weekend.

The family comedy is expected to blow both The Girl In the Spider’s Web and Overlord, the other two newcomers hitting screens alongside it, well out of the water.

An adaptation of the classic Dr. Seuss storybook, from Despicable Me studio Illumination, The Grinch will star Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular miserable curmudgeon who detests the holiday season. Joining Cumberbatch in the voice cast are Parks and Recreation’s Rashida Jones, SNL’s Kenan Thompson, Beauty and the Beast’s Angela Lansbury, and hip-hop star Pharrell Williams as the narrator.

The Grinch releases in UK cinemas from this Friday, and is rated U.

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Eyeing $250M Debut

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Forthcoming, magical prequel/sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is on track for a spellbinding time at the international box office.

The feature, which has been directed by Potter stalwart David Yates and penned by series’ creator JK Rowling, looks poised to potentially score a $65 million domestic debut, though some experts are placing the opening weekend figure closer to $75 million. If those higher estimates hold true, it would put the feature on par with its predecessor, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($74 million), which went on to garner $814 million worldwide. The Crimes of Grindelwald is hoping for a higher overall, however, carrying a budget of $200 million compared to the first film’s $175 million.

Globally, the film is on track to take in $250 million in its opening weekend, but that figure could suffer due to a harsher critical reception this time around; The Crimes of Grindelwald currently sits at a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, and holds a 57 MetaScore, with many critcs decrying the feature as “cluttered“, “unsatisfying“, and “sleep-inducing“.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in UK cinemas from tomorrow, starring Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp, and is rated 12A.

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The Grinch Debuts To $78M Worldwide, Venom Dominates China With $111M Opening

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Evidently, early November isn’t too soon to start celebrating Christmas, as The Grinch opened to a domestic cume of $66 million.

Internationally, the animated family comedy pulled in a further $12.7 million, for a global start of $78.7 million. Those numbers may not seem over the top, but they do mark the highest opening for a Christmas film of all time, and given the traditionally long theatrical runs of yuletide flicks, Illumination could be looking at a serious moneymaker in the coming weeks.

Elsewhere, Venom opened incredibly strong in the middle kingdom this weekend, with a frankly ridiculous $111 million debut in China.

Not only is that an absolutely ludicrous figure (more than enough to keep The Grinch off the worldwide top spot), and over the $100 million price tag that the flick cost to make, but it also makes it the second-highest opening for a superhero movie ever in the country – behind only Avengers: Infinity War. The film’s wild over-performance means that Venom has now passed $673.5 million worldwide, and looks set to comfortably eke past the $700 million mark.

Still holding on elsewhere, Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody drew in a further $63.1 million, taking its international score up to a cool $285 million. Also carrying over from last week, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms managed to rustle together another $13.5 million internationally. The holiday feature was dead on arrival in the US, where it’s scarcely managed to pass $35 million. The costly fantasy adventure carries a $125 million price tag, and has scored just $96.7 million globally.

Next week will see the release of Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, due out on the 16th of November.

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Bohemian Rhapsody Rocks Box Office With $122M Global Opening, Nutcracker Flops

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Musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody had a big opening this weekend. Freddie would be proud.

The Queen feature, which stars Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) as the band’s beloved charismatic lead, took in a staggering $122.5 million in its opening weekend; outperforming domestic expectations to score $50 million in the States alone, making it the second-highest US opening for a musical biopic of all time (behind only 2015’s N.W.A. flick Straight Outta Compton, which garnered $60 million on its release).

Bohemian Rhapsody fended off competition from Disney’s family fantasy The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which landed with an almighty thud, only pulling in $20 million across the pond – ironic given that Rhapsody will be one of the last 20th Century Fox features to be released prior to the finalisation of the two companies’ merger.

In total, with last week’s early UK release of the film, the Freddie Mercury biopic currently sits at an impressive $141.7 million, on a budget of just $50 million.

The film’s prospects had been shaky for a moment there, as early reviews seemed to have done some harm to the feature’s chances – critics unilaterally praised Malek’s performance (which is already garnering Oscar buzz) but were more lukewarm on the rest of the picture. In a statement to press, Fox’s head of domestic distribution Chris Aronson said: “I’m not surprised there’s a disconnect, but audiences didn’t miss it. That’s the power of word of mouth — and Queen and their music.”

Disney, however, were considerably less candid about Nutcracker’s debut, with the House of Mouse’s president of domestic distribution Cathleen Taff saying: “Obviously, it’s not the start we were looking for, but it’s a great family friendly option. Sometimes it doesn’t connect as broadly as we want it to.”

Bohemian Rhapsody and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms are both in UK cinemas now, rated 12A and PG respectively.

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