Muggles made their way to theaters Thursday night to push Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to $8.75 million in previews.
The Warner Bros. prequel film returning fans to J.K. Rowling's magical world (although this time in New York in the 1920s), will easily top the weekend, tracking to earn in the $70 million-$80 million range in North America and beyond $200 million globally.
Internationally, the film added 38 markets on Thursday for a total of 47 markets now in release with an estimated gross of $16.6 million. The cumulative tally after two days is $23.5 million.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, a collector of magical creatures who travels to New York, where several of his creatures get out. He teams with a pair of magical sisters (Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol) and a muggle (Dan Fogler) to get them back, while also facing a much darker threat to the magical world.
David Yates helmed the $180 million film from a script by Rowling, who is also writing the scripts for the sequel and three more films.
STX's edgy coming-of-age drama The Edge of Seventeen and Open Road's boxing biopic Bleed for This also open this weekend.
Edge of Seventeen nabbed $220,000 in previews Thursday night. The film, which stars Hailee Steinfeld as an awkward teen dealing with her friend falling for her brother, is expected to earn in the $8 million-$10 million range in its debut. Directed by Kelly Fremon Craig in her directorial debut, it also stars Blake Jenner and Woody Harrelson.
Bleed for This, starring Miles Teller as Vinny Pazienza, a boxer who attempts to make a comeback after a terrible car accident, is tracking to open in the $5 million range. The film, directed by Ben Younger, debuted at Telluride and also screened at Toronto earlier this year. It also stars Katey Sagal and Aaron Eckhart.