Fantastic Beasts has best opening weekend of 2016

One of the most anticipated movies of the year, Warner Bros. Pictures’Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, has cast a spell at the UK box office earning £15,333,000 in its opening weekend.

Transporting audiences to a new era of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, the all-new big screen adventure opened on approximately 1900 screens, including 42 screens in IMAX on 18th November.  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them had the biggest opening weekend of the year and also achieved the highest Saturday and Sunday grosses of 2016. It is the third highest opening weekend for a film from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World following the final two Harry Potter films;  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.

Commented Josh Berger, President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Entertainment U.K, Eire and Spain:  “We are thrilled with the huge response from British and Irish audiences to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and expect word of mouth and repeat attendance to carry the film well into the holiday season. Whether long-time Harry Potter fans or newcomers to J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, moviegoers have shown how excited they are to join us for the start of a whole new era. These tremendous results are a testament to the work of the filmmakers, the cast and all the talented craftsmen whose hard work at Leavesden Studios brought this universe to life.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes us to a new era of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, decades before Harry Potter and half a world away.

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, The Danish Girl) stars in the central role of Magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter blockbusters.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures.  Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

The film also stars Katherine Waterston (Steve Jobs, Inherent Vice) as Tina, Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as Jacob, Alison Sudol (Transparent) as Tina’s sister, Queenie, Ezra Miller (Trainwreck, upcoming Justice League) as Credence, two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (In America, Sweet and Lowdown) as Mary Lou Barebone, Oscar winner Jon Voight (Coming Home, TV’s Ray Donovan) as Henry Shaw, Sr., Carmen Ejogo (Selma) as Seraphina Picquery, and Colin Farrell (Saving Mr. Banks, TV’s True Detective) as Percival Graves.

The film marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose seven beloved Harry Potter books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time.  Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by her character Newt Scamander.

In addition to David Yates, the film reunited a number of people from the Harry Potter features, including producers David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.  Tim Lewis, Neil Blair and Rick Senat served as executive producers.

The behind-the-scenes creative team included Oscar-winning director of photography Philippe Rousselot (A River Runs Through It, the Sherlock Holmes movies), three-time Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig (The English Patient, Dangerous Liaisons, Gandhi, the Harry Potter films), three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, Alice in Wonderland), Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Tim Burke (Gladiator, the Harry Potter films), Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Christian Manz (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1), and Yates’ long-time editor Mark Day (the last four Harry Potter films).  The music was composed by eight-time Oscar nominee James Newton Howard (Defiance, Michael Clayton, The Hunger Games films).


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