Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Box Office: “Fantastic Beasts” Nears $400 Mil Worldwide, “Lion” Roars, “Moana” Soars


Friday night box office: “Moana” is up to $47.4 million after raking in $21 million Friday night. The latest Disney hit is staying just a little bit ahead of Warner Bros. “Fantastic Beasts” — which is nearing $400 mil worldwide after just 8 days. Disney is also still booming with “Doctor Strange,” closing in on $600 million worldwide.

The stars of “Beasts” and “Strange” are respectively British Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne and British Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, which is kind of interesting. They are also going to regular dramatic Oscar nominees for the next 20 years, I would guess, and they are already commanding huge commercial franchises.

Meanwhile “Lion” roared into four theaters last night to sold out audiences. Watch Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel’s hanky box of a beautiful film grow and grow in the days ahead. Ditto “Manchester by the Sea.” Each are potential Best Picture nominees.

Also “Arrival” from Paramount continues to do excellent business. But starting to collapse is the mawkish, hokey “Hacksaw Ridge.” While the technical aspects of the war scenes are very very good (explosions, fires, body parts, blood and guts), the story is just dreadful. And Mel Gibson has turned the main character, Desmond Doss, into his vision of Christ. Toward the end the imagery is so overblown it’s laughable.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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