Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Eddie Redmayne, Newt Scamander

In Theaters This Week (11/18/2016) – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Edge of Seventeen, and More!


Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen

Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  November 18th is really Thanksgiving weekend with the holiday taking place  this next Thursday and many having the week off, there are seven new releases trying to dethrone Doctor Strange.

Nocturnal Animals, Amy Adams

I feel like I’m falling behind on my homework.  I still need to see The Arrival and Hacksaw Ridge and now seven films open this weekend, four of which are critically lauded.  You can subtract the boxing movie, which is the only sport Hollywood cares about, in stark competition to its actual popularity.  Amy Adams releases her second film in two weeks; this one a dramatic departure from her normal image in Nocturnal Animals.  I’ve wanted to see Edge of Seventeen ever since I saw the trailer, which is one of the funniest I’ve seen in a long time (the red band version is funnier, but I try to keep the site PG-13).  Manchester by the Sea is at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes at time of writing.  This all, and of course, we have JK Rowling’s screenwriting debut and the return of The Wizarding World in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Jo, can the sequel’s title be shorter because typing that for months has given me carpal tunnel?).


Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Vin Diesel, R, 1hr 50min)

Bleed for this (Miles Teller, Cirian Hinds, R, 1hr 56min)

The Edge of Seventeen (Hailee Steinfeld, R, 1hr 38min)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
(Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, PG-13, 2hr 12min)

Manchester by the Sea (Casey Affleck, R, 2hr 15min)

Nocturnal Animals (Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, R, 1hr 55min)

The Take (Idris Elba, Charlotte Le Bon, R, 1hr 32min)

KT snapped a two week losing streak with a two week winning streak (and we’ll make it three this weekend) thanks to Doctor Strange’s introduction into the MCU.  After an opening comparable to the first film for Captain America, Doctor Strange won last week with a very respectable second weekend take of $43.0 million.  The animated film Trolls beat out the critically-hailed The Arrival to take second place with $35.0 million  (Lifetime prediction record 32-5).
Doctor Strange, Stephen Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch

This isn’t a hard pick, the only question will be: How much will a film set in the world of Harry Potter make without Harry Potter in it?  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is probably looking at a similar opening to Doctor Strange’s (between $80-90 million).  It’s not that people don’t miss Harry Potter.  Try getting a ticket for the stage play for Harry Potter 8 and you may be able to secure one some time in 2019.  It’s that this is a period piece, with a new protagonist, no known characters from the original series, and it has plenty of competition.  Like Dr. Strange had to establish himself, so does Newt Scamander.  I’d wager both of their next films will easily top $100 million in their opening weekends.  As it is, this still won’t be close.  Fantastic Beasts will easily win this weekend.
Eddie Redmayne, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander

6 thoughts on “In Theaters This Week (11/18/2016) – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Edge of Seventeen, and More!”

    1. I’m still woefully behind so if I can do more than just Beasts, I want to hit The Arrival and Hacksaw Ridge. Moana and Allied come out Wednesday, but otherwise this is the line-up for Thanksgiving week/end so hopefully I can pick a few more off then. Stupid life getting in the way of movies.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The comparison with the SW prequels is apt, in the sense that Phantom Menace had none of the original stars and felt like it took place in a different galaxy. The difference is that people had been waiting for Phantom Menace for 16 years, and Fantastic Beasts was kind of sprung on us. Difficult to foresee how this one pans out, but I would be optimistic if I were WB. Most people’s last memory of Harry Potter was Deathly Hallows, and that one was highly satisfying. In fact it was an unabashed triumph.

    I think the weakness of Fanatic Beasts (its distance from the franchise that preceded it) will also be its strength. When there have been so many installments people start to feel like they have to be steeped in the mythology to dive in. Fantastic Beasts is going to allow casual fans to get in on the ground floor of something new.

    Plus never underestimate the power of monsters. I once saw an interview with Will Smith at the peak of his career, and he was asked about what makes a successful movie, and he gave the highly unexpected (but dead-on) response that a large percentage of the hugely successful movies down through history have had great creatures in them. Fantastic Beasts looks cool, that’s all there is to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol Smith the Sage. That’s…not totally wrong. Yeah, I think they’re different beasts (pun) SW and HP, but really the only ballpark comparison since we know this going to end up informing what we think of Dumbledore and putting weight behind the Deathly Hallows. Heck, if they go to 1945 (and I’d have to check) McGonagall would be in play. Really, though, the whole HP franchise left people highly satisfied. Everyone kind of thought there might be more later, but there were no hard plans, but now here this new thing is and people will want to check it out. Where you get huge openings is when you have something known with questions hanging in the air, which is why sequels generally open way higher than their predecessors. Doctor Strange was a totally new thing, so people wanted to check it out because the last totally new thing, Guardians, ended up rocking their world. I agree with you that Guardians 2 is going to be a behemoth and blow us away, but it will open HUUUUUUGE. You’ll see that with Beasts 2 and Strange 2. Guardians 2 has to be the film that starts to coalesce everything on the road to Thanos. At some point, a film is going to have to corral all this movies and get them pointed to Infinity War. I think Guardians 2 has to start it, Thor 3 continues it and Black Panther is the last film before IW and with the prospect of the world coming for the Winter Soldier in Wakanda, that’s not going to be an origin story. I think you got the origin story in T’Challa’s talk with Widow in Civil War. I think there will be a showcasing of Wakanda, its people, its importance, and its politics, but it also has to put us at a place where Tony calls Steve on that burner either at the end of the film or the beginning of IW. It’s weird to be thinking endgame for the first wave of the MCU, but it’s not that far off.


  2. They’ve put a lot of balls in the air. We talk a lot about how careful and deliberate the MCU has been in setting up its world, but in another sense it’s traveled all over the place with wild abandon, in a relatively short amount of time.

    Hopefully they have the foresight we think they do.

    As much as I loved Strange (and you know I did), I thought it was way too conventional an origin movie, and if the origin had been anyone but the good Doctor’s, the MCU might have shown its first traces of franchise fatigue. But we were being shown this new facet of the universe, and the action/SFX was groundbreaking and original, and it kept the formulaic elements from being too big a liability. I thought that GOTG was one of the best origin stories I’ve ever seen; the necessity of making introductions and laying foundations didn’t keep the film from cutting loose.

    Fantastic Beasts is going to surprise people. There continues to be a wellspring of goodwill towards Harry Potter.


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