Stephen Strange may still be Sorcerer Supreme, but after two weeks he'll give up his domestic box-office crown to another magician -- one Newt Scamander.
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" earned $29.7 million on Friday in North America, placing the "Harry Potter" spinoff on a path to a $75 million-plus opening weekend. It was followed distantly by "Doctor Strange" with $4.8 million and DreamWorks Animation's "Trolls" with $3.9 million.
The Marvel Studios film is expected to rack up $16.7 million over its third weekend of release, bringing its U.S. total to $180.6 million. It will likely close out Sunday just behind "Trolls" for third place. As of Friday, "Doctor Strange" had earned $509.7 million worldwide. That's more than half a billion dollars in just 15 days of release, so hold your tears over the film's loss of the domestic top spot.
Directed by "Harry Potter" veteran David Yates from a screenplay by author J.K. Rowling herself, "Fantastic Beasts" stars Eddie Redmayne as renowned magizoologist Newt Scamander, who arrives in 1926 New York City amid rising tensions between the Wizarding World and the No-Majs (the American term for Muggles). It's against that setting that Newt's mysterious suitcase is opened, unleashing some of the magical creatures stored within.
The film is planned as the first installment of a sprawling new Warner Bros. series, all directed by Yates and written by Rowling.